The current marijuana bunker is operated by Evergreen Medicinal near Michell Farms. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

ALR protection petition reaches B.C. Legislature

Group opposing marijuana greenhouses collects 1,400 signatures

The Citizens for Protecting Agricultural Land (CPAL) have collected over 1,400 signatures to support their cause, and it will be presented in the House on Thursday by MLA Adam Olsen.

The petition was concerned with paving over ALR land for any purpose, but was prompted by a proposal to place greenhouses on the former Stanhope Dairy Farm by Evergreen Medicinal on Vancouver Island.

The group have stated they are not against the production of marijuana per se, but they would prefer to see it on industrial land since marijuana is typically grown indoors.

Olsen has raised the issue of marijuana grow-ops on ALR land with Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, said Olsen’s chief of staff Aldous Sperl.

“It’s highlighting that there is a substantial number of people in his riding that care about the issue,” said Sperl.

Olsen has also committed to trying to get the minister to meet with the group, said Sperl.

CPAL communications co-ordinator Ken Marriette said the group met with Olsen, and he committed to deliver their petition in the House before the end of this sitting. Olsen invited up to 10 members of CPAL to watch from the gallery. Marriette said Central Saanich mayor Ryan Windsor has also committed to helping the group. The District of Central Saanich has sent a letter to Minister Popham requesting a six-month moratorium on growing marijuana on ALR land, which passed unanimously at the council level.

Marriette said the group was told a petition would “fall on deaf ears,” because if the government truly wanted to regulate this, they would have done so already. The group, however, was undeterred. They heard there was a public consultation on ALR land launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Minister Popham, and they tried to get to a public meeting in Nanaimo, but it was full.

Marriette said he was told by Popham’s office that meaningful changes would not take place until the fall of this year or the spring of 2019. With that in mind, the group began campaigning for a moratorium. “Stop this now, because that will give us some breathing room, because the more you leave this door open, the more horses leave the barn, the harder it’ll be to fix it.”

The group started collecting signatures province-wide, but soon narrowed their focus to Vancouver Island.

“I have a niece in Chilliwack who lives in a farming community who sent over 84 of them,” said Marriette. “It’s delightful.”

Marriette said since the house is only in session for a few more days, a meeting was not likely, but the Minister’s office told him to “keep asking, and we’ll try to fit you in when the appropriate time is here.”

“We would consider it a minor, positive step forward if [Popham] called for a moratorium and did some hard thinking about where these [greenhouses] belong,” said Marriette.

Just Posted

Chilliwack firefighters douse Yarrow shed fire

No one injured in the Tuesday afternoon blaze

Chilliwack gymnast to compete in Pan American Championships

Canadian national teamer Zachary Clay travels to Peru in September for international competition.

Harv Westeringh announces run for Chilliwack council

The local realtor/builder has strong interest in municipal issues and fiscal responsibility

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read