I participated in the public consultation process that has ended in the decision by Summerland council to ask for the removal of farmable land from the Agriculture Land Reserve.
I reject the labels that have been thrown at me and those such as myself who have stood up to oppose this land swap. (to wit, in a media interview after the March 3 Public Hearing Mayor Janice Perrino called us “fear mongers” and in a recent letter, Terry Manders called us “selfish.”)
Through two public hearings and one question-and-answer town hall meeting, council never made an honest effort to communicate one-on-one.
We still don’t know who are the proponents of the plan.
Except for a handful of landowners in the exclusion area who have had the courage of conviction to use their real names and the writer on the editorial page, social media and paid ads have embraced the practice of pseudonyms.
Thankfully there were these public meetings because the ultimate result is that the comments create a record that will go forward to the Agriculture Land Commission, not just the opinions of mayor and council.
I would urge all people who oppose this land swap to send a letter to the ALC to ask to delay their decision until after the November municipal election so the new council can revise the proposal.
Agricultural Land Commission
133-4940 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G 4K6
There are other options for growth and economic prosperity for Summerland.
We do not need to build housing developments on viable farmland.