The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) was a good idea when it was introduced in the 1970s. Having lived in Los Angeles, I would never want to see that kind of urban sprawl here.
But if too much land is off-limits to development, the ALR can needlessly increase the cost of housing to the point where it does more harm than good. After all, what’s more important, locally grown potatoes or an affordable home? And with all due respect to the Condo King, not everyone is ready to “give up the dream” and embrace the micro-suite lifestyle. Especially when we don’t have to.
Have a look at this map created from the Agricultural Land Commission’s website. The ALR is in green.
I don’t know what others think, but that looks pretty excessive to me. (The next time someone says we don’t have enough land because of the US border, show them this map).
It also doesn’t help that we’ve restricted development in the North Shore mountains. With a few public works projects, we could easily satisfy our water needs using other reasonably close sources. If there’s anything this Province has enough of, it’s water!
I’m not suggesting that we pave over paradise. But like with most things in life, there are trade-offs. Seems to me that if the cost of locally grown produce and locally sourced water is million dollar homes, it might be time to make some adjustments.