Victoria (With files from CBC) – Richard Bullock, the Chair of the Agricultural Land Commision (ALC) has been fired by the provincial government.
Former Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard takes over. Here is the official media release from the Province:
The Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council has appointed Frank Leonard as new chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz took to social media to state her thumbs up approval of the decision, “What good news for the ALC. Congrats Frank. Looking forward to working with you again.”
Leonard is a former mayor of Saanich. He was first elected mayor in 1996 after serving on council since 1986. While in public office, Leonard chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was president of the Union of BC Municipalities and a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also chaired the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District, the region’s Housing Corporation, the Saanich Police Board, and has served on the Regional Transit Commission. He has also served on numerous recreation, arts, and community boards.
Over 1,800 hectares, or almost 20%, of Saanich’s land base is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Under Leonard’s leadership Saanich Council continued to build on the region’s agriculture heritage, with policies supporting local food production in both rural and urban areas, as reflected in Saanich’s Official Community Plan. Leonard was also a past co-chair of the Farm Assessment Review Panel, which looked at the farm classification process and regulations for municipal tax purposes.
Leonard comes from a family-business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.’s three Kal Tire stores before his election as mayor. While in business, Leonard served as a director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups.
Frank Leonard is currently chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities, vice-chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and a director of the Victoria Airport Authority. He has previously served as a director of the BC Investment Management Corporation.
Leonard holds his bachelor of arts in history (Honours) and his master of arts from the University of Victoria.
Leonard will take up duties as chair of the ALC immediately. He will hold combined duties as board chair and CEO for a period of five months while he leads the search for a new CEO of the commission.
The ALC is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for administering the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve. The commission’s mission is to preserve agricultural land and encourage and enable farm businesses throughout B.C. The ALR is the largest it has ever been in its history, with more than 4.7 million hectares set aside for farming. The land in the ALR has increased by 38,000 hectares since 2001.