Encouraging buy local and a new B.C. hops industry
Driving forward, Today's BC Liberals will:
- Spur the development of a hops industry in B.C. with a $1 million annual grant towards an incentive program for farmers, contributing to the development of a VQA-like program for made-in-BC craft beer.
- Take further steps to encourage British Columbians to grow and buy locally grown food by doubling the 'Grow Local' program and making it permanent; and increasing the 'Buy Local' program by $1 million starting in 2019.
Growing BC agriculture
Grow BC, Feed BC, Buy BC
- Grow BC will help young farmers access land and focus on exciting initiatives like ensuring our bee populations stay healthy and supporting fruit and nut growers.
- Under Feed BC, government facilities will increase their use of BC-grown and processed foods.
- By bringing back an enhanced Buy BC marketing program, we will help local producers market their products.
We'll encourage leadership and innovation by:
- Partnering with growers, processors, colleges and universities to develop a BC Food Innovation Centre to innovate in the processing, packaging and marketing of BC food products.
We'll expand markets for vintners, brewers and craft distillers by:
- Establishing a BC beer, wine and spirits advisory panel to grow and strengthen the industry.
- Working with local producers to expand our markets and help market our products.
Make a Significant Investment in B.C.'s Agricultural Sector
- A Green government will invest $30 million to enhance the long term viability of the agricultural sector (including incentives to produce food on Agricultural Land Reserve land, the establishment of agricultural apprenticeship programs at the secondary and post-secondary levels, and the expansion of 'Buy Local' initiatives.
- A Green government would introduce new legistlation to enhance the protection of agricultural land.
- A B.C. Green government will provide $40 million to fund research, and establish regional agricultural bureaus to provide expertise and support to local farmers to adapt to a changing climate.
- A B.C. Green government will collaborate with the indigenous people, the not-for-profit sector, and other land interests to enhance access to land farming.
- A Green government will work with farm operators to introduce measures to address labour shortages in agriculture.
BC Citizens First
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ARE CRITICAL RESOURCES FOR ALL: We support Maslowâ€™s globally recognized Hierarchy of Needs framework whereby it is necessary to first provide citizens with safe and secure affordable housing and food, then to focus on personal and community safety, health and environment. FOOD RESOURCES PROTECTED FROM HEALTH CONCERNS: We are concerned about the ongoing risks to public health from bacterial and virus outbreaks at various salmon farms and oyster farms. We propose to undertake a major investigation into ongoing problems in these two industry sectors and shut down those farms which do not meet global best practice standards. NEW BC FOOD BANK FUNDING: We will provide BC Foodbanks with $10 million of capital funding to support their introduction of perishable food uptake and distribution to their needy recipients as a means to improve the health and food intake of the needy. QUALITY TESTING OF WATER RESOURCES: We are concerned about the current existence of high levels of lead being detected across BC, particularly at schools. We will immediately commission an audit of all BC schools (private and public) in order to assess the current health and developmental risks to which we are currently exposing our young children. Where worldwide safe standards of lead are being exceeded we will immediately enforce remedial actions. The second stage of this program will focus on community testing and remediation of all water in rural, suburban, metropolitan and First Nations communities. RAISING CORPORATE ACCESS COSTS FOR BC WATER RESOURCES: We propose to raise water bottler charges for access to BCâ€™s pure and pristine water from its current giveaway $2.50 per million litres (which the bottlers retail for $2.5 million dollars) up to a more reasonable $1,000 per million litres. These additional revenues will be directed to improving BC water resources for all BC citizens including First Nations.