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Farm and marine training centre to co-exist

Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca regional director, is “thrilled” that the final hurdle for the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue’s new training facility in East Sooke has been cleared.

The proposal had to pass before the Agricultural Land Commission to allow part of the farm, purchased by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Pacific) Inc., to be taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve for use as a head office and training facility. Most of the 10.23-hectare property will continue to be used as a farm, market garden and pasture with 1.94 hecatres dedicated to the training centre.

The Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee had supported the non-farm use of the property.

The CCGA intends to use the property to establish a college for marine science and rescue training for members of the CCGA, the RCMP and the border patrol.

In recommending the removal of a portion of the property from the ALR, the commission stated that the proposal will not adversely impact agricultural land outside the exisitng infrastructure area.

“It’s fantastic and I’m thrilled for East Sooke and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue,” said Hicks on Jan. 28 after receiving the ALC’s recoomendation. “It’s great timing.”

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