Individual’s interests affect facts interpretation

Extreme assertions only further polarize issues and benefit no one

Editor, The Record:

Re: Festival to be held between hay crops, April 19 edition.

In his rebuke of S. Barker’s letter of April 12, MLA Randy Hawes asks the question, “Why is it that so often facts get twisted to reinforce a point of view?”

The interpretation of so-called “facts” are almost always filtered to lesser or greater degree by an individual’s interests or values. It would appear in this instance that the decision of the ALC on March 17, 2011 to, “Refuse as proposed on the grounds that the festival will reduce the agricultural capability of the property,” fits Ms. Barker’s values-based opinions regarding non-agricultural use of ALR property, while MLA Hawes values and interests seem to run opposite.

Unfortunately, extreme assertions that there would be “absolutely no interruption in the agricultural use” (Hawes), or that the festival would be “destroying good farmland” (Barker) merely contribute to the polarization of the issue and benefit no one.

Readers should also know that contrary to MLA Hawes’ understanding that “…the owner cleaned it up and planted hay in anticipation of an approval for the festival,” the land in question was enhanced for agriculture by a former owner early in 2009 as “an act of good faith” (Whipple) in support of reducing net-loss of agricultural land anticipated through the ALR exclusion application for 31380 Lougheed Hwy. which came before council and the ALC in that year.

Mike Scudder

Mission