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Vicki Huntington, the Independent MLA who represents the South Delta riding, says British Columbia must protect valuable farmland near Dawson Creek after a British-based company bought more than 12,000 hectares it plans to turn into a forest.

She adds that the latest purchase by Reckitt Benckiser included about 320 hectares of ranch land.

Reckitt Benckiser is a manufacturing company that produces all sorts of products, including household cleaners, acne creams and hot dog condiments.

Huntingon says the cattle-grazing property was part of BC’s agricultural land reserve, and the company that began buying in BC nine years ago plans to use it to plant trees to benefit its own
environmental program.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick says his ministry does not endorse turning farms into forests, and received assurances in June that Reckitt Benckiser would not buy any more agricultural land – but he says the latest purchase in July involved a deal that was already in the works.

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