A group of protestors took their fight and their tractors all the way to Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office.
A two-tractor “convoy,” led by Richmond farmers Ray Galawan and Bob Featherstone, trundled its way Wednesday morning all the way to Clark's Point Grey base to issue a demand for the province to take action against demolition waste allegedly being dumped on a local farm.
Clark was not at her office, so Galawan and his son, Randy, delivered an address and a set of documents to Jordan McPhee, the premier’s constituency officer, while backed by a small band of fellow supporters from protest group FarmWatch.
The protestors contend that the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) — which oversees farmland use in B.C. — is not doing enough to protect local farmland and wants the government to hand some of that control over to the City of Richmond.
“We want this dumping, that has been going on farmland, stopped,” said Galawan.
“It can’t go on — it has been going on all over the city and province. Basically it’s destroying the farmland. When you put concrete, rebar, steel mesh on farmland, it leaches into the top soil and that land will never grow vegetables again.”
Galawan and Featherstone have led a 24-hour protest outside a farm on Finn Road since the middle of January, where building materials are being recycled into a new road leading to a new tree nursery.
The protest, which started as a blockade, led to two $25,000 lawsuits being served on the farmers from the business owner trying to build the road.
The firm leasing the land, to eventually run a tree nursery, say they’re doing nothing illegal and are following all conditions and instructions given by an ALC compliance officer. The ALC has confirmed the company hasn’t broken any laws.