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May 22, 2014
For immediate release
Legislation will ensure Lands Protection Act is flexible, responsive to today’s needs
Finance and Energy
Legislation passed last week will ensure the Lands Protection Act is flexible and can respond appropriately to today’s needs, says Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan.
“Commissioner Horace Carver made some solid recommendations in his report and now it’s up to Government to put them into practice,” says Minister Sheridan. “We have now taken the first steps to make the Act more responsive to the Island’s landscape, now and into the future.”
The Commissioner’s report contained 29 recommendations. Among them was that land holding limits should remain the same, but that Government amend the legislation to allow landowners to exempt their non-arable land, which is land not used for growing crops, from being counted as part of their holdings, up to a maximum of 400 acres for individual landowners and 1,200 acres for corporations. The report also recommended that landowners should be able to deduct a percentage of leased-out land from their holdings in order to create more flexibility for crop rotation. The legislation allows for these changes.
“The recommendations around land holding limits were identified by Government as a priority,” said Minister Sheridan. “By making these amendments, we can better respond to an evolving agriculture industry, while still respecting the original spirit of the Act.”
Work to implement the remaining recommendations endorsed by Government is continuing. These recommendations involving changes to the Act will be introduced in future legislative sessions. In addition, Government will release the Report of the Land Use Policy Task Force in the coming weeks.