Richmond is facing an important problem: the continuous loss of our remaining farmland. This will affect our community in the present and in years to come. It should be dealt with now while there is time.
Our municipal leaders seem to be unaware of the seriousness of the situation.
Is the British Columbia Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) blind to the fact that inappropriate fill is being dumped on good arable soil in the B.C. Agricultural Land Reserve?
Or is it unwilling to protect farmland contrary to its mandate? Would it be for the lack of proper funding? Really? Does the City of Richmond not have a say on these matters?
The courageous farmers who drove their tractors to city hall recently, and also to the office of our premier, Christy Clark, need our full support.
They expressed deep concern as to the dumping of demolition and excavation material on productive farmland, which, in the process, is ruined forever. It is irreversible.
A good farmer is one who follows good farming practices and leaves his land in a better condition than when he took it.
Would a bona fide farmer ever build a 30-foot wide access road in the middle of his field using 12" to 18" broken pieces of concrete?
I read recently that an officer of the ALC and a Richmond MLA said that this is okay and widely done in British Columbia.
This is simply not true. Wrong: there are plenty of existing municipal bylaws and provincial regulations forbidding such actions. Why are they not enforced? Why?
As a resident of Richmond since 1955, I have seen a rural community develop over time into a beautiful green city close to nature.
In so doing, Richmond has often been recognized as a "model community" enjoyed by the great majority of us, Richmondites.
However, this very enviable status seems to be slowly slipping away. A plethora of new buildings are sprouting all around us.
They require good control and inspection to ensure that everything is done right.
In the same manner, our remaining farmland deserves the same degree of attention and control.
John Massot Richmond