Meet the Legislators

Lana Popham, Committee Chair
and MLA for Saanich South
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South, Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture and Food and Chair of the Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food. Before being elected to the BC Legislature in 2009 she worked for many years as a farmer. She established and operated the first certified organic vineyard on Vancouver Island, Barking Dog Vineyard.

Much of her past volunteer work is related to farming. For example, she was President the Vancouver Island Grape Growers Association, Chair of the Certification Committee for the Islands Organic Producers Association, a Commissioner on the Peninsula Agricultural Commission, and a Voting Member of the Agri-Food Initiative Advisory Committee.

These days she may not have as much soil under her nails, but agriculture is still very close to her heart! She can be reached at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca



Vicki Huntington, Committee Vice Chair
MLA for Delta South
Vicki Huntington is the MLA for Delta South, the sole Independent MLA in the Legislature, and the Vice-Chair for the Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food.

“When I was a young girl my father, an agrologist, would often tell me that Delta had the finest soil in the world after the Nile Valley. Since that time I’ve had an abiding love for agriculture in Delta and beyond.”

Agriculture has always been a major focus for Vicki and she represents a riding that has some of the best soil in Canada as well as the largest farm gate receipts. She has been a strong advocate for the protection of ALR land, and sincerely believes we need to do everything we can to protect the arable land in this province.

You can reach Vicki at vicki.huntington.mla@leg.bc.ca



Raj Chouhan
MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds
Raj Chouhan is the MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds. He has a strong record in defending the rights of farmers and has been involved in the agriculture sector for decades.

"Agriculture and food security is an important issue and an issue close to my heart. When I first came to Canada, I worked as a farm worker in numerous locations and later became the founding president of the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union. I am excited to be part of this Committee and tour the Province in order to continue advocating for sustainable industries and food security for all British Columbians."

With a strong record in agriculture, human rights, the BC Labour Code and collective bargaining, Raj brings a wealth of experience to the committee.

You can reach Raj at raj.chouhan.mla@leg.bc.ca



Robin Austin
MLA for Skeena
Robin Austin is the MLA for the Skeena Region. Since being elected he has served as the Opposition critic for Fisheries and was the Chair of the Special Legislative Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture. He has been a strong voice in the Legislature on both aquaculture and agriculture.

"My interest in agricultural issues stems from learning that in the 1970’s Terrace and the area around Old Remo on the other side of the Skeena River had a vibrant market garden economy. It is a little known fact that the U.S. based company Smuckers had scouted out Terrace as a site for a jam factory, owing to all the fruit that was grown in the area. Instead of capitalizing on this potential, governments and locals all concentrated on the burgeoning forestry industry - to the detriment of developing other sectors of the economy. Flash forward to today and there is a vibrant movement by local citizens intent on revitalizing market gardening, and growing as much local food as possible."

You can reach Robin at robin.austin.mla@leg.bc.ca



Katrine Conroy
MLA for Kootenay West
Katrine Conroy is the MLA for Kootenay West. She brings decades of personal ranching experience as well as a strong record in advocating for agriculture to the committee.

"Working the land and raising cattle is a core part of who I am. I've lived with my husband and children on a small ranch in the Kootenays for 38 years now. Raising cattle can be tough work but I've found personal fulfillment in ways that I never expected. The challenges of running a successful ranch are taxing on the body and on the mind but its worth it!"

Katrine has been a strong critic of the splitting of ALR land into two zones and has taken a stand on many agricultural issues during her time as an MLA.

You can reach Katrine at katrine.conroy.mla@leg.bc.ca



Nicholas Simons
MLA for Powell River - Sunshine Coast
Nicholas Simons is the MLA for Powell River - Sunshine Coast. He comes from a strong agricultural heritage as his family homesteaded in Nova Scotia for over two hundred years! Having worked closely with the Chair of the Committee on forcing changes to British Columbia’s still-flawed “Meat Regulations,” he has previously held the position of Agriculture Critic where he spent most of his time fighting the changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act and the weakening of protections for agricultural land in BC.

"British Columbia's farmers and food producers bring incredible value to our economy and vibrancy to our communities. They provide local jobs and are passionate about what they do. I can't stress how much importance I place on what BC's agriculture community brings to the table."

You can reach Nicholas at nicholas.simons.mla@leg.bc.ca

Chilliwack June 2015: From the Highlight Reel