LETTER: Keep the land in the ALR

Reader is absolutely opposed to the exclusion of six properties and any other Mission property

RE: A notice in the May 3 edition of the Mission Record about applications to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to exclude six properties from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in southwest Mission.

I am absolutely opposed to the exclusion of these six properties and any other Mission properties in the ALR. I am in disagreement, not from any personal bias about the owners of these properties. It is my understanding that B.C. has only about one per cent prime (without limitation) agricultural land and Mission has less than five per cent land base in the ALR.

We must be forward-thinking as to where food will be coming from as populations increase in the Fraser Valley and B.C.

We can’t continue relying on California and other areas for our food supply as their reliability can change due to politics, economics or natural occurrences.

Also, growing dope on ALR land is putting pressure on the viability of food production.

One of the few good things the NDP government put in place, the ALR, if not depleted will become more important for future generations.

It is particularly disturbing that Mission council is also applying to remove one property from the ALR and even paying a private agent to do their bidding.

Is there not one of the high-priced help in city hall capable of filling out an application form?

It seems incongruous that council is protecting the urban reserve (where I live) from development to preserve for high density in the future yet is against preserving agricultural land to provide sustenance.

If these applications are successful, how do we stop the future incursions into the ALR given this precedent?

The analogy that comes to mind is, if you have extra money in the bank that is not needed now, should you spend it or save it for a rainy day? In the case of unused farmland, should you dispose of it or keep it in the agricultural land bank for when needed in the future?

It is vital to protect the ALR land despite not currently being farmed.

T.B. Mortimer


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