Minister Pam Alexis is expected to establish policies to increase production and add processing capacity
By Diego Flammini
British Columbia’s new minister of agriculture knows what’s expected of her as she and her cabinet colleagues received their mandate letters last week.
Pam Alexis, whom Premier David Eby appointed to the ag portfolio while shuffling former minister Lana Popham to tourism, arts, and culture, is expected to “support farmers, ranchers and seafood producers in the critical work they do for us, to ensure food security for British Columbians by establishing policies to use our agricultural land wisely, increase production, and add processing capacity,” the Dec. 7 letter says.
Premier Eby outlined multiple items he expects Minister Alexis to make progress on going forward.
These includes working with the minister of emergency management and climate readiness to develop an emergency preparedness strategy for food security.
Minister Alexis is also mandated to work with the ag sector to identify ag practices that reduce carbon pollutions, and to support the work of the minister of education and child care to expand school meal programs.
Minister Alexis is also tasked with continuing work from the ag mandate letter Popham received in November 2020.
That work included expanding the Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC programs to support food security and local business growth and launching the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program.
It’s imperative that Minister Alexis and Premier Eby’s government look out for farmers the way farmers look out for their communities.
“As every British Columbian knows, we don’t have a secure food supply and manage food costs for British Columbians if we don’t look after our farmers and use our land base wisely,” the Dec. 7 letter states. “Our provincial commitment to food and the people who produce it has never been more important.”