The board calls for stronger Lands Protection Act enforcement
By Diego Flammini
A Prince Edward Island farm organization wants better enforcement of land protection legislation.
The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IARC) isn’t administering the Lands Protection Act to its fullest, which is impacting farmers in the province, the P.E.I. Potato Board said Thursday. Representatives spoke to the Standing Committee on Communities, Land and Environment.
The IARC denied the sale of a 2,800-acre plot of land earlier this year. The executive council, however, overturned this ruling, the Potato Board said.
“We’re hearing from growers on concern over the sales of land to non-residents and it appears that some sales may not be aligned with the spirit, intent and laws (of) the Lands Protection Act,” Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, said during the meeting. “There is concern that some land purchases are occurring without meeting residency requirements or exploiting loopholes to exceed land limits.”
Some land sales have also resulted in the removal of productive farmland from agricultural use, which can cause land prices to increase.
“Potato farmers are open to other people buying that land but they just want to have fair access to it,” Donald told CBC Thursday. “We also feel it’s important that there’s a stronger land use policy so land that’s in agricultural use can remain in agricultural use.”
Farmland pricing in P.E.I. increased by about 5.6 per cent in 2017, Farm Credit Canada’s latest farmland values report says. Values across the province range from about $3,000 to $4,300 per acre.
Farms.com has reached out to the P.E.I. Potato Board for comment.
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