The Commissioners

The ALC consists of at least 13 Commissioners and are appointed from each of the 6 geographic ALR regions

March 1, 2018 - It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Greg Norton. Greg was a valued Commissioner on the Okanagan Panel with the ALC since December, 2014, and he will be missed.

Greg Norton was a fruit farmer in Oliver, BC since 1988. Before taking over the fruit farm, he was a foreman with the Town of Oliver Irrigation District. Active in his community, Mr. Norton was chair of the Agriculture Area Plan Committee Rural Oliver, chair of the Environmental Farm Plan Working Group, chair of the Agriculture Research and Development, chair of the Agriculture Environment Initiatives Board, and president of the Loose Bay Campground Society. He was also past president and director of the Okanagan Cherry Growers Association, past chair and director of the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen, past vice-president of the BC Wildlife Federation, and the founding chair of the Sterile Insect Release Program.

Greg Norton Okanagan Panel (Left to Right): Jim Johnson, Gerald Zimmermann, Greg Norton

The Commissioners

Prospective members apply through the Board Resourcing and Development Office. The Agricultural Land Commission Act (the "ALC Act") stipulates that prospective members must be knowledgeable in matters relating to agriculture, land use planning, local government or first nation government. Members of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) are appointed by the Minister responsible. The Chair and Vice-Chairs are appointed by Cabinet. The ALC carries out its duties in six regional panels: Island, South Coast, Okanagan, Kootenay, Interior, and North. Panel region maps can be found on the Maps and GIS page.

Frank Leonard, Chair

Frank Leonard is a former Mayor of Saanich. He was first elected Mayor in 1996 after serving on Council since 1986. He has chaired the Saanich Police Board, the Capital Regional District Board, the Hospital Board, and the Housing Corporation and has served on the Regional Transit Commission Mr. Leonard comes from a family business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.'s three Kal Tire stores prior to his election as Mayor. While in business, Mr. Leonard served as a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups. Since entering politics, he has also served on numerous recreation, arts, and community boards. Mr. Leonard is currently chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities, vice-chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and a director of the Victoria Airport Authority. He has previously served as a director of the BC Investment Management Corporation. Mr. Leonard holds his bachelor of arts in history (Honours) and his master of arts from the University of Victoria.

South Coast Panel

William Zylmans, Vice-Chair - Delta

William Zylmans is the owner of W&A Farms in Richmond, growing produce. Active in his community, he is chair of the BC Potato and Vegetable Committee, president of the BC Seed Potato Growers Committee, former member and vice chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Advisory Committee, as well as former member and co-chair of the Richmond Agricultural Advisory Committee. Mr. Zylmans is a former leader of the 4H Club.

Satwinder Bains, Commissioner - Abbotsford

Satwinder Bains is the director of the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley and an instructor in the India Canada Studies Program. Ms. Bains has twenty six years of work experience in community development in the Fraser Valley, provincially, nationally and internationally. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in the Faculty of Education. Her research interest and expertise is in the field of cross cultural education and community development. At the present time she is researching the issues that the Indo-Canadian community faces in terms of child protection in Canada. This cross cultural study proposes models of education and social services for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in BC. Ms. Bains holds her Master of Education, as well as her Bachelor of Arts.

Ione Smith, Commissioner - Sechelt

Ione Smith is a registered Professional Agrologist with 15 years of experience in agriculture, food security planning, and community engagement. As a co-founder of Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd in Sechelt, Mrs. Smith has worked alongside BC’s farming community towards the development of agricultural plans, market opportunities analyses, and climate change adaptation strategies. Her projects have been acknowledged with a 2016 BC Land Award and a 2015 Planning Institute of BC Honourable Mention. Mrs. Smith is a Tier 2 BC Farm Business Advisor, a BC Food Systems Network Steering Committee member, and a past director of Sunshine Coast Community Futures. Mrs. Smith received a MSc from the University of British Columbia in 2004 and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College in 2001.

Island Panel

Linda Michaluk, Vice Chair - North Saanich

Linda Michaluk retired in 2012 as the Executive Director of the College of Applied Biology of BC, a position she held since the inception of the College (2002). Ms. Michaluk also served as Executive Director of the College precursor organization, the Association of Professional Biologists of BC from 1997 – 2010. A Registered Professional Biologist since 1981, Ms. Michaluk held elected office as Mayor of North Saanich (1987-1990; 1997-2002) and was first appointed to the Environmental Appeal Board in 1990 serving as Chair until 1994. In 2013 she was appointed to the Forest Appeals Commission as well as the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal, and reappointed to the Environmental Appeal Board. She holds a BSc from the University of Alberta and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC, and is a public member of the BC Law Society Hearing Panel Pool. In 2016, she was elected to the Board of the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals.

Honey Forbes, Commissioner - Duncan

Honey Forbes resides in Duncan and is currently working as a coroner in her community. She has a broad range of knowledge and experience with food, health and agriculture issues. Ms. Forbes was raised on a dairy farm in Alberta, was a long time consumer representative on the Consultative Committee and the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee of the Canadian Dairy Commission, a consumer representative and board member of the Canadian Agri food Research Council and a consumer representative on Health Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Trans Fat Task Force. A former Saskatoon grower in Alberta, she remains actively involved in family agri business interests in Alberta and B.C. She holds an RN diploma, BScN and LLB degrees from the University of Alberta, and a Leadership diploma from the Canadian Farm Business Management Council's CALL program. She is a past member of the British Columbia Farm Industry Review Board.

Clarke Gourlay, Commissioner - Parksville

R. Clarke Gourlay is the Owner and General Manager of the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks in Parksville, where he and his wife have built and operate an active agri-food and agri-tourism business based around dairy farming and artisan cheese making. Before launching this business, he was involved in international humanitarian aid work with MEDAIR, and previous to that he was the associate pastor of the Snowdon Baptist Church in Montreal. Mr. Gourlay holds his Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies and Political Science from McGill University, a Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College, and is currently completing his Master of Arts in Leadership and Management at Briercrest Seminary in Saskatchewan.

Okanagan Panel

Gerald Zimmermann, Vice-Chair - Kelowna

Gerald Zimmermann is an outgoing Kelowna City councillor, as well as being the former fire chief, deputy fire chief, assistant fire chief, firefighter and lieutenant of the City of Kelowna. Active in his community, Mr. Zimmermann sits on the Central Okanagan Regional District Board, the Black Mountain Irrigation Board, the Okanagan Regional Library Board, and the Okanagan Basin Water Board. His past commitments include the Agricultural Land Commission, the Patient Care and Quality Review Board, chair of the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Fire Chiefs, and the director of the BC Fire Chiefs Organization. Mr. Zimmermann holds his Certificate in Municipal Government Administration from Malaspina College, now Vancouver Island University.

Jim Johnson, Commissioner - Cherryville

Jim Johnson is an owner and operator of a personal catering business and has worked in the forestry industry for 35 years. Most recently, he was a pole buyer with Bell Pole Company where he managed the trade relationships with other forest licensees for bell pole needs and purchased fibre from private land owner, woodlot owners, and small business programs. Active in the community, he is involved with the Cherryville Community Club and serves as chair of Cherryville Cemetery. In addition, Mr. Johnson is a former chair and alternate director with the Electoral Area E Regional District of the North Okanagan.

Kootenay Panel

David Zehnder, Vice-Chair - Invermere

Bio coming soon.

Ian Knudsen, Commissioner - Creston

Ian Knudsen is currently the owner and operator of Sun Beam Farms. Previously, he was the manager of Schofer Farms and manager of Top Potato Farms. In the past, he was the vice president and current member for the Kootenay Livestock Association and former trustee for the Creston Dyking District. Mr. Knudsen is currently a member of the BC Cattlemen Association and the Creston Valley Beef Growers Association. He completed the Trac program at Camosun College.

Interior Panel

Richard Mumford, Vice-Chair - Alexis Creek

Rick Mumford is a Contractor with the BC Cattlemen's Association. Previously, he was the owner/president of Chiltech Forestry Ltd., and before that he was a manager with the Ministry of Forests. Active in his community, Mr. Mumford is a director with Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd. (a timber harvesting company jointly owned by the Alexis Creek Indian Band and Tolko Industries Ltd.), and has sat on many boards including the Cariboo Regional District Board, the Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board (chair), the West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd., and Yun Ka Whu'ten Holdings Ltd. Mr. Mumford holds his Forest Resource Technology Diploma from the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Bob Haywood-Farmer, Commissioner - Savona

Bob Haywood-Farmer is the co-owner/manager of Indian Gardens Ranch Ltd., a family owned mid-sized cattle ranch located in the Savona area, west of Kamloops along the Thompson River. Mr. Haywood-Farmer is a member of the Tunkwa Lake Stock Association and the BC Cattlemens' Association. Mr. Haywood-Farmer is the director of the Kamloops Stock Association. He has served on the Farm Debt Review board and also the Appeal Board for Farm Credit Canada. He was on the Agriculture Advisory Committee for the Bank of Montreal. Mr. Haywood-Famers has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UBC (1970) where he studied range management, agronomy and soils. He has studied Holistic Resource Management and is assisting his son Ted in implementing an intensive grazing system on part of their range. Mr. Haywood-Farmer is turning his management responsibilities over to his son, welcoming the 4th generation as they inject fresh ideas and energy into the ranch.

North Panel

Dave Merz, Vice-Chair - Fort Fraser

Dave Merz is the owner and operator of Nechako Bend Ranch Ltd. with almost 50 years of experience in British Columbia's Agriculture industry. Active in his community, he serves as a member of the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District Area Planning Commission and as chair of the Fort Fraser Volunteer Fire Department Executive. Previously, Mr. Merz served as president of the BC Cattlemen’s Association; chair of the Beef Cattle Industry Development Fund; chair of the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society; member of the BC Farm Industry Review Board; and member for Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for the Northern Interior Regional Advisory Committee (NIRAC). He holds his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Engineering from Oregon State University..

Ross Ravelli, Commissioner - Dawson Creek

Ross Ravelli is the owner of Ravelli Farms Ltd, a third generation grains and oilseed farm bordering the City of Dawson Creek. Mr. Ravelli is also a partner in three successful restaurants which operate in the BC/AB Peace region. Mr. Ravelli has had an extensive career in farm organizations beginning in the 1980’s. Initially focused on provincial issues, over the past years he has had the opportunity to lead two national organizations, The Canadian Canola Growers Association (President 2002-2006) and the 80,000 member Grain Growers of Canada (President 2006-2008). During this period, Mr. Ravelli travelled extensively both nationally and internationally promoting both Canadian agriculture and Canadian agricultural producers. More recently, Mr. Ravelli has served as a Commissioner of the BC Utilities Commission (2008-2010) and as a Director for Farm Credit Canada (2011-2016).

James Garnet Berge, Commissioner - Dawson Creek

Garnet Berge is President of Berge Farms Ltd. Active in his community, he is a director for the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, a past director for the BC Agricultural Council, past treasurer for the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC and a past director for the Barley Council of Canada. Mr. Berge was also the President of the BC Grain Producers, and a director for both the Canadian Canola Growers Association and the Canola Council of Canada.

Additional information about current Commissioner appointments can be found on the Board Resourcing and Development Office website.

Commissioner Annual Remuneration

Treasury Board directs that Commissioner per diem be posted annually. 

2016 - 2017 Commissioner Remuneration

2015 - 2016 Commissioner Remuneration

2014 - 2015 Commissioner Remuneration

Past Commission Chairs

Appointment Dates



May 17, 1973 - June 9, 1975


W.T. Lane

June 5, 1975 - January 4, 1979


G. Gary Runka

January 4, 1979 - March 7, 1980


Axel Kinnear

March 7, 1980 - April 11, 1985


Dr. M.F. Clarke

April 11, 1985 - November 1, 1990


I.D. Paton

November 1, 1990 - February 4, 1992


Dr. L. Greenaway

February 4, 1992 - December 17, 1998


Kirk B. Miller

December 17, 1998 - November 14, 2001


Dr. Alan Chambers

May 1, 2002 - November 1, 2004


Kirk B. Miller

April 1, 2005 - April 30, 2010


Erik Karlsen

June 17, 2010 - May 14, 2015


Richard Bullock

May 14, 2015 - Present  

Frank Leonard