Selling off Crown land in the Peace country could be used to bring in more revenue. That was part of the plan laid out by United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney during an opposition panel at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta convention in Edmonton.
“It’s something I’m seriously looking at,” he told media Wednesday. “It’s one way of helping to generate some Crown asset sales to help us deal with our debt and deficit, but also a way to grow the economy by turning what is currently unproductive land into productive agricultural land.”
Should his party win the spring election, Kenney has proposed putting an unspecified piece of land up for sale. He says the idea comes from when former premier Ed Stelmach auctioned off roughly 100,000 acres of Crown forest to be turned into agricultural land.
“Those acres are now producing agricultural products,” Kenney explains. “The land was purchased from the Crown by farmers in northern Alberta and it’s increased the agricultural productivity.”
Kenney argues the Peace country is a productive microclimate despite having a shorter growing season than other parts of Alberta. He adds he’d also like to look at incentives for zero-tillage farming, which refers to growing crops without tilling the land.
“That kind of land can also be a net carbon sink to help us with our [Greenhouse Gas] emission targets.”
More about the plan is promised to be included in the UCP’s platform for the 2019 election campaign.