SAANICH NEWS LETTERS: Wednesday, April 9

Letter writers talk agricultural land, rail service on Vancouver Island

Keep the ‘farm’ in farmland

Re: Cattle battle could soon be done (News, March 26)

I don’t think they should change the land to a residential area. We need to protect our agricultural land and not change it to residential for the purpose of making money.

If council lets them do that, it would be such a bad example for all the other

agricultural land owners that would want to do the same.

The owners just wanted to have cows to disturb the neighbours to make them support their idea of building. There is big difference between having 55 cows and a 16-lot subdivision. There are so many other ways to do agriculture that doesn’t bother the neighbours as much.

Isabelle Boutin

Saanich

••••

Agricultural uses belong on ALR

May I suggest that, if anyone objects to the use of agricultural land reserve land for agricultural purposes, that he or she not build or buy next to the ALR?

There are plenty of places that can be built on – but there are only a few places that can be farmed.

Richard Weatherill

Saanich

••••

Island Corridor headed down wrong track

Counting on Via Rail to provide any kind of passenger service here on the Island is like trying to hitch up some dinosaurs to a plow.

Never again will we be able to make a good business case for heavy rail transport on the Island, as the idea of using the “Bud Cars” is unworkable – they are too old and too expensive to maintain and so will be broken down most of the time.

Via Rail is not able to move far enough from their “train train” thinking to even consider the idea of the light rapid transit needed to make passenger service possible and economically feasible.

We need to move people quickly, efficiently and on schedules that will make sense. Couple that with the addition of courier services and light freight and the passenger portion of the business becomes the gravy after the expenses are met.

Technology has come a long way in the last decade. We can have solar powered pop-up LED crossing barriers that won’t be damaged even if driven over, cameras at crossings that activate when the train is a half-kilometre out so the driver can see what’s ahead, buses that are able to pull off the track and proceed to more convenient stations where parking is available.

All of this must be considered in order to have a speedy, efficient and useful service.

I don’t think Via Rail can do it.

Alan MacKinnon

Nanaimo

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