LETTERS: Info on farmland disturbing

I am wondering if you would publish my response to the excellent article from David Zirnhelt.

Editor:

I am wondering if you would publish my response to the excellent article from David Zirnhelt of Dec.: 1/16 Ranchland and Farmland Ownership Does it Matter?

Thank you for the detailed and disturbing information regarding the status of family farmland and agricultural land in Canada and in B.C.

I can’t agree more with the importance of close to home slaughtering and butchering facilities for cattle. People are increasingly interested in knowing how their meat was raised and treated.

Having ethically raised and processed meat certainly matters to me and is very likely the basis for the success and re-emergence of local butchers who can source selectively for local and humanely treated animals.

Regarding the loss of agricultural land to Site C dam there are some serious concerns.

One is procedural in that the 30,000 or so acres of prime valley bottom farmland was removed by government order in council bypassing the assessment and input from the ALC which would normally have been required for this largest removal of farmland in ALC history.

Another very disturbing concern is the expropriation of currently productive farmland and farm families from their lands, homes, livelihoods and heritage.

For the individuals involved this is likely to be absolutely devastating.

One can only imagine the pain. For the province’s food security it is also devastating as it is to my knowledge the only farmland of that size, quality and productive capacity north of Quesnel and comprises about one third of the area in the province which could be expanded for food production.

Were the power from SiteC proven to be needed, and at a cost we can afford and for which alternatives had been thoroughly explored perhaps this loss of farmland could be justified.

Because government ignore the advice from the Joint Review Panel and exempted the Site C project from independent regulatory review, in the public interest, by the BC Utilities Commission, the public will never really know.

D. Lynn Chapman

Vancouver

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