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

Courtenay council divided on proposed tax increase

Council votes 4-2 vote if favour of a proposed 2.5 per cent hike

Celebrating a centennial in Merville

In April 2019, the Merville Soldiers’ Settlement community will be 100 years… Continue reading

Eagle eye

Local shutterbug Tanja Kerr submitted another gem, this time of an eagle… Continue reading

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Sharpe defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Sharpe defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

BCHL Today: Prince George avoids elimination with game five win

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read