Taxpayers have for years subsidized farmers who bought ALR land at a reduced cost, paid less taxes due to other taxpayers making up the difference, and earned income in whole or in part on their land.
Now Bill 24 will increase bureaucracy with panels which have â€œall the powers, duties, and functions of the [Agricultural Land] Commission in relation to an application or other matter referred to it, and a decision of a panel is for all purposes a decision of the commission.â€
Why is the Minister for Mines and Resources redesigning the structure of the ALC? My suspicion is that it is to limit independence of this body and to provide avenues of approach for resource extraction on farmland.
The â€œsubsidizing taxpayersâ€ can now pay more for their food, because it will be grown on land that will cost so much more that only large conglomerates will be able to afford farming.
Letâ€™s interface with all taxpayers, as was done for the Water Sustainability Act, and find the best ways to help farming be more successful and profitable. Then we can all move forward as members of one zone to make
farming the dream of the future, not the nightmare of the past.
Pat Martin, via email