Pitt Meadows Receives Award of Excellence for Agricultural Viability Strategy and Endorsement of Resolutions to Reform Farm Property Tax

File Number
2024-07

PITT MEADOWS, B.C. - The City of Pitt Meadows is proud to be recognized with an Award of Excellence from the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) for exceptional work on the City’s Agricultural Viability Strategy. The City has received the top award in the category of Excellence in Policy Planning – Small Town & Rural Areas.

The City completed its new Agricultural Viability Strategy in 2023 after several months of research and consultation with members of the agricultural sector and the public. The strategy identifies opportunities to strengthen the local agriculture and agri-food sector and recommends actions specific to Pitt Meadows. 

“Pitt Meadows is honoured to be recognized by PIBC for the City’s innovative—and now award-winning—Agricultural Viability Strategy,” says Pitt Meadows Mayor Nicole MacDonald. “Completing this strategy was just the first step of many to ensure that our local farmers and agricultural sector are supported and resilient in the face of changing social, economic, and environmental conditions.”

The strategy outlines major goals and corresponding recommended actions to support the City’s vision of a thriving agricultural sector. Short-term implementation actions are already underway, with funding recently awarded from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC for a detailed irrigation study.

To better support local farmers and protect farmland for farming, the City was recently successful in passing three advocacy-related resolutions at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association’s 2024 Conference. Members of Pitt Meadows City Council attended the conference to call on other attending Council members from across the Lower Mainland to endorse the City’s resolutions on reforms to the farm property tax system. The resolutions urge the Province to update income thresholds for farm classification, change school tax exemptions in agricultural areas, and introduce a targeted tax on unfarmed farmland. These resolutions will be considered at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) 2024 Convention in the fall, and if passed, will be forwarded to the Province for consideration.

“I want to commend City staff, the consulting team, Council, and our community, whose expertise and hard work helped to create this leading-edge and visionary strategy,” says Chief Administrative Officer Mark Roberts. “We are proud to be moving forward with a number of actions and we are set to bring our resolutions forward at the UBCM Convention for continued progress on agricultural initiatives.”

To learn more about the Agricultural Viability Strategy and the actions taken to date, visit pittmeadows.ca/agriculture.

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Contact:

Tia O’Grady
Manager of Communications & Civic Engagement
City of Pitt Meadows
to’grady@pittmeadows.ca