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andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Today in the legislature I introduced Bill M202 – Property Law Amendment Act, 2017. I had previously introduced this Bill in February, 2017 during the 6th sesison of the 40th parliament. Its purpose is to ensure that farmland in British Columbia is safeguarded from real estate speculation using foreign capital. In addition, it is important to ensure that British Columbia’s future food security is protected.

Below I reproduce the text and video of the introduction along with our accompanying media release.


Text of Introduction


A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled the Property Law Amendment Act, 2017, of which notice has been given, be introduced and read a first time now.

Mr. Speaker: Please proceed.

A. Weaver: I’m pleased to introduce a bill intituled the Property Law Amendment Act, 2017. This bill amends the existing Property Law Act to ensure that land held within the agricultural land reserve is protected from international real estate speculation. If passed, this bill would prohibit foreign entities from purchasing ALR land over five acres without prior permission from the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council.

At UBCM last week, I met with communities in northern British Columbia. They emphasized the impact that the foreign purchase of ALR lands is having on local farmers, their local economies and our food security. For example, in Cariboo North, 42,000 acres have been bought by two foreign entities, with a total of 22,239 acres being removed from local agricultural production. This is affecting the local price of hay and pricing farmers out of the market.

Many other provinces regulate and restrict foreign ownership of agricultural land in this way, including Alberta, Saskatchewan Manitoba, Quebec and PEI. Our agricultural land reserve should have the same protection.

Mr. Speaker: The question is the first reading of the bill.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: Now I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

Motion approved.


Video of Introduction



Media Release


Andrew Weaver introduces bill to ban foreign ownership on Agricultural Land Reserve land over five acres
For immediate release
October 5, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, reintroduced a bill that would ban foreign ownership on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land over five acres. Weaver first introduced the bill in February 2016.

“B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve is vital for promoting our province’s food security and growing our agricultural sector,” said Weaver.

“Today I am reintroducing a bill that would prohibit foreign entities from purchasing ALR land over five acres.

“B.C. currently imports 70% of its vegetables from the United States, with half of that coming from California. With these regions increasingly experiencing extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, it is more important than ever that B.C. take the future of our food security seriously. Moreover, agriculture presents a significant economic opportunity for B.C. Our thriving wine industry alone has a $2.8 billion economic impact, generating 12,000 jobs throughout the province.

“One of the key reasons why young people are unable to pursue farming is due to the cost of land. By allowing ALR land to be subject to international real estate speculation, we are limiting their opportunities to get into this vital, sustainable industry.

“Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and PEI have all passed similar legislation to protect their agricultural land. This leaves B.C. as the only western province without such a law. It’s time we took action on this important issue so that we can ensure that ALR land is used as it is intended – to offer opportunities to local communities across the province and to promote the overall food security of our province.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

13 Comments

  1. October 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I hope this fixes some of the problems we’ve been having in Langley.

  2. Sylvia-Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Your stated purpose does not match up with the pith and substance of this bill. If you want to protect the ALR, then legislate to protect the ALR. Stopping one group of people from buying land over 5 acres does nothing to promote food security or curb market speculation of the land. Once again, we have a politician pandering to public distrust of foreigners. Shame on you, Andrew Weaver.

  3. Jacquelyn Sherst-Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    This is a great protection.
    I hope it is expanded for not just foreign ownership. We are losing far too much arable land, and for no reason other than greed.

    Additonally I hope that there will be some restrictions brought about by housing areas where there is a housing shortage, there should be legislation to disallow foreign or non-resident ownership over a certain percentage, say only 10% of houses, listings for sale can be bought by foreigners, or non-residents. This may have to be grandfathered in slowly – so that the housing market does not crash, but frankly these houses are artificially so inflated they are likely to burst on their own eventually. In the meantime entire cities are losing their workforce and their work as land has become so artificially inflated. With so many empty houses we are susceptible to vandalism, fires, and crime because so many houses are empty. Empty houses cannot be insured. BNBs are not the answer because you are getting transitory people who frankly do not care about the place they are renting because they are only here for a short time and can disappear very fast. Empty houses also are targets for the homeless and drug addicted that will break into a house because no one will notice and then they will finally have a roof over their heads. If you look at Detroit and see the slums, slums even in wealthy parts of the city – this can happen in our urban areas too. No jobs because it is to expensive for businesses to thrive, and/or they cant keep employees because the employees cant afford to live their either. This is purely unsustainable. Coachhouses and building in lanes is not the answer either – too much inbuilding combined with reduced areas for traffic (too much bike lanes, too little parking, gridlock) will cause extreme havoc should the fire department need room to be able to bring their fire engines close enough to be able to put fires out. Believe me with vacant houses there will be more and more fires, this is an insurance statistic a fire hazard.

  4. Myles-Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Why just foreign investors. Are you really OK with Canadians buying ALR land for speculation? This will accomplish little to nothing in terms of protecting farmland. Where can I get the numbers and science behind this? How much farmland is owned by foreigners and how much of that is not being farmed. FYI the investors didn’t remove the land from the ALR. Our government did. What are you going to do to stop any land from being repurposed?

  5. Lolly Gee-Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 7:55 am

    This is long over due. Foreign owner ship should Never be allowed. Our land is very cheap in comparison to other countrys and it will be gone forever . Please protect our Canadian land !

  6. Ron Bruce-Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Farmland is being eroded (no pun intended) by speculators and urban sprawl and ill-advised projects like the Site C Dam, in the Peace River district. Some of these so-called hobby farms support homes of thousands of square feet, where only enough blueberries are grown for a few jars of jam and a dozen pies. Who is going to minitor the ALR?

  7. Bill Taylor-Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Much appreciation for this bill from this retired farmer who has seen far too much food land blanked by industrial and speculative developments.

  8. Esther Newcombe-Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Thank you. Its about time. Maybe 10 years to late. But better late then never.

  9. Pamela Wootton-Reply
    October 9, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Yes! We can’t feed ourselves. Farmland must be protected better. Current lawsa are not working.

  10. Derek Youngman-Reply
    October 6, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Thank you!

  11. Deb Foote-Reply
    October 6, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Thank you for standing up for our sacred farmland! Can we do something about monster homes on farmland too? There is a property on 152nd st in Surrey that has not one but 3 mansions on it claiming to be a blueberry farm. It’s a big issue

  12. Jack Thornburgh-Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    A well-considered bill that should help increase BC agricultural production. Accolades to Mr. Weaver and team!

  13. Stuart Macdonald-Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Excellent!!!

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