Category Archives: Lake Country
I moved to Lake Country, a rural community with a very large agricultural component, because of the lifestyle, however I wholeheartedly support food security and safety.
I’ve worked for many years in the wine industry here in the Okanagan, and I currently sit on the Agricultural Advisory Commission for the Central Okanagan – agriculture is important to me, and our community. I recently read a report that noted that BC was heavily, and it turns out too, dependent upon produce from California. I believe we can change that. I believe municipalities can work with our provincial and federal counterparts to revamp current agricultural policy to truly support Canada’s farmers (big and small) through policy reform, farmland and ALR support, consumer education and buy local initiatives. I believe those are our top priorities to ensure a food secure community.
What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
I think it would be best to answer this point-by-point.
1) Prevent urban sprawl with the promotion of proper land use management.
2) Promote a strong agricultural business atmosphere at the municipal level. After all, Lake Country was founded upon agriculture.
3) Work towards sustainable environmental practices that will lead to high quality air and water supply in our community.
4) Promote sustainable food production practices.
5) Encourage people and businesses in our community to shop locally and buy from local food suppliers.
6) Find ways to increase the use of our land for food production, from our back yards to large scale farming.
7) Support the Food Bank in its on-going work in Lake Country. The Food Bank has a very positive impact on our community, and it should be supported.
What are some ways you will support local farmers?
I would work with the elected Mayor and Council to put business incentives in place for local agriculture. We need to access staff and community expertise to find solutions that will work for local farmers. I want to be as collaborative as possible in finding ways to support our local farming community.
I will strive to engage the agricultural community throughout my time on DLC Council. I will advocate for decent, living wages for local farm workers and focus on getting local farmers access to more local markets.
Lake Country should work towards highlighting its agricultural roots through its continued economic development.
Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and bees in urban areas?
I feel that residents in Lake Country should be provided with more opportunities to have “backyard chickens” or keep their own bees in parts of the community that are suitable for them. This will not only improve the local food supply but have a potential impact on the pollination of surrounding agriculture and green space in our community.
Lake Country has many parcels of land that would be suitable for hobby farms, small bee/pollination/honey operations and backyard chickens, specifically on large lots of land that would not impact neighbouring lots. The key with this issue would be to carefully examine each situation to make sure that the decision is right for the community overall.
How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
I will work with our community to find reasonable opportunities for community gardens in our community. There are already people on Lake Country that are working hard towards establishing and sustaining community gardens, and they should be commended and supported.
Farm-to-school programs need to be promoted to work towards providing healthy food in adequate quantities to our youth and families in the area. I would like to promote the use of locally-grown, direct from the farm produce in Lake Country’s schools. This work would complement the great work of the Lake Country Food Bank.