Step 1: Try to Resolve the Dispute Before Making a Complaint
Disputes or disagreements between neighbours can arise for many different reasons, such as misunderstandings or conflicting expectations. Disagreements may start with issues unrelated to farm practices.
While any person aggrieved by a farm practice – someone bothered by dust, noise, odour or other disturbance – can file a complaint with BCFIRB under the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act. BCFIRB encourages you to try to resolve your disagreement informally with your neighbour before filing.
Cooperatively resolving a dispute with your neighbour can be challenging, but in the long run often leads to better relationships and better results.
Some considerations include:
- What is your concern with respect to the farm practice (is it disturbance, health, environment or something else)?
- Have you spoken with your neighbour about your concern?
- What have you and your neighbour done together to try to resolve the concern?
- Have you considered bringing in a neutral party to assist with your discussions?
- Have you contacted the local industry association/commodity board? For example, the B.C. Blueberry Council employs a Liaison Officer to help resolve disputes.
- Have you contacted your local Ministry of Agriculture office and/or local government? Experienced staff can often lend their expertise to help resolve the concern in a timely fashion.
Review summaries of previous BCFIRB decisions related to specific types of complaints.
If your attempts to resolve your dispute are unsuccessful, you can file a formal complaint with BCFIRB regarding dust, odour, noise or other disturbance.
At any time during the complaint process, on its own initiative or at the request of a party, BCFIRB may require the parties to participate in a mandatory facilitated settlement to explore the potential for resolving one or more issues in dispute settlement of all or part of the complaint.
Note that BCFIRB cannot make decisions on issues related to environment or health.