Re: Changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve
Dear Minister Pimm and Members of the Cabinet, recently at our community hall’s 100-Mile potluck, an 89-year-old farmer blessed the meal. She told us that by growing local food again, we are returning to a life lived close to the land we live on, and to a stronger local economy.
In my 40 years here, I have seen our economy lose its agricultural base, and now am witnessing its return.
That is only possible because of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Were it not for the reserve, these lands would have been broken up and sold to the highest bidder. It would be impossible for young local farmers to revitalize our farm economy and culture.
In our area of the Kootenays, we are proud to see young people staying here instead of fleeing to opportunities elsewhere. They are growing food and very successfully selling it at local markets. We see locally inspired courses on chicken raising, hog raising, and market gardening. We see a local co-op store with a budget in the millions contracting with local farmers to supply greater and greater amounts of product.
We see local restaurants once more featuring local food and paying farmers decent prices for it. We see local dairies, truck farmers, and slaughter houses succeeding because of a consumer demand and support for local farming.
Count me as one of the citizens demanding that the province keep its hands off the ALR. And in that same context, count me as an opponent of the Site C dam, one of the nastiest pillages of productive farmland this government could come up with.