We canot ignore the importance of farmland

North Saanich, thanks to four pro-development councillors, teeters on the brink of paving farmland

Anyone naïve enough to believe proposed developments in North Saanich are not the thin edge of the wedge and that developers are not coming after our farmland, should be dispelled of that illusion by the CTQ report. The development consultant, whose website indicates a specialty in removing farmland from the ALR, has recommended areas traditionally farmed in North Saanich be included in new Urban Containment Areas, slated for 400-500 new houses in the next few years. Councillor Daly has embraced these recommendations, wanting council to get on with it.

A recent study by Landcor Data says B.C. farmers have begun hoarding farmland in anticipation of expected food and water shortages, raising the possibility of food riots and water wars as climate change reduces the amount of arable land.

North Saanich, thanks to four pro-development councillors, teeters on the brink of paving farmland long protected for potential food production.

Why, when the world recognizes the dire need to protect farmland, would we change course at the behest of land speculators?

Farmland is increasingly valuable now, but in future it will be priceless.  The CTQ report, a heavily biased pro-development document derived from a deeply flawed process, admits that sustainability and agricultural land are cherished values for North Saanich residents and then proceeds to ignore those values, recommending that areas including much farmland (Canora Rd., McTavish Rd. and Sandown) be slated for development. No conversation about sustainability can ignore the importance of protecting farmland for future generations, but this is not satisfactorily addressed in the CTQ report.

All residents who value our rural agricultural way of life should read the report, attend the Sept. 9 council meeting, and voice their concerns.

Bernadette Greene, North Saanich

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