Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Local and Indigenous governments in British Columbia will be permitted to prevent marijuana production in their communities on land that is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, but with conditions.
The Ministry of Agriculture said Friday the regulatory change is effective immediately and gives governments the right to prevent industrial-style, cement-based and cannabis-production bunkers in their communities.
However, the ministry said pot production can’t be prohibited if it’s grown lawfully in an open field, in a structure that is soil based, or in an existing licensed operation.
“It’s not everything we were wanting, I don’t think. It’s a start,” said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been outspoken against marijuana growing operations on the land reserve in her city.
The Agricultural Land Reserve, or ALR, is a provincial designation that covers about 46,000 square kilometres in B.C. where agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted.
The changes pertain only to land within the reserve, because local governments can already regulate or prohibit pot production on lands outside the reserve.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities, the voice of local governments in the province, had asked the provincial government to put a moratorium on the use of agricultural land to grow cannabis.
Jackson said she was pleased the province had taken some action with the announcement Friday, but she described it as a “small step.” She’s concerned about the security risks and odour of cannabis operations in open fields.
She’s also worried about the conversion of food crops to marijuana crops. There is relatively little land in B.C. to grow food, but nearly 100 square kilometres of it is in Delta, and it would be a “travesty” for the province to rely on other countries for food, she said.
Jackson predicted it will be difficult for farmers to see marijuana cultivators earning so much money.
Officials are calling an assault on a First Nations man earlier this week in Thunder Bay, Ont., a hate crime.
Thunder Bay police say the 52-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment after he was found injured near a bus terminal on Wednesday night.
Police said Friday they would not comment further as the investigation was ongoing.
In a statement released Thursday, Mayor Keith Hobbs condemned the incident and pictures posted to social media showing the bloodied victim.
Hobbs says “violence, hate crimes, discriminatory attitudes and actions are unacceptable in our community.”
In a Facebook post, Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day called it racism and “hate at its most vicious,” adding that the political response to such hatred hasn’t done a thing so far.
“Our people need help,” Day wrote. “Leadership needs to step the hell up and do something _ this man has a right to safety, dignity and a right to justice.”
Hobbs encouraged everyone to report hate crimes and stand up to racism.
Canada rebounded from its first loss of the world lacrosse championship with a 10-5 win over the Iroquois Nationals on Monday.
Curtis Dickson and Ben McIntosh also scored twice for the defending champion Canadians (3-1), who were coming off a close 11-10 loss to the archrival United States on Sunday.
Canada moved into sole possession of second place in the blue group behind the undefeated Americans, while the Iroquois Nationals fell into a third-place tie with Australia.
The Canadians wrap preliminary-round play Tuesday against Australia, while the Iroquois Nationals finish with a match against Scotland.