I would like to state up front that I believe taking farm land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve is a mistake when there are so many hungry people in our world.
And yes, I do believe we need to consider the world’s needs since we are part of this world. Food banks remind us of this need constantly.
The fact that a larger parcel of land in the Prairie Valley area is being offered to the ALR to replace what would be taken out for development closer to town is very disconcerting.
The individual farms in this vicinity are nearly all producing farms, some of which have been doing so for 50 years or more.
One does not pick up an orchard or a farm yard with all its buildings, equipment and livestock and set it down in a new area.
As in most communities in Canada, there was a time when there was room for everyone. And, like in many communities, it is the farmers and their land and way of life that have become disposable.
Can we not, here in this community, think along different lines?
I do not disagree with growth, but let it not be the farmers and their farmland who always seem to have to pay the price.
The young folks I see who work in the orchards in this area earn income from these orchards. There are even some who aspire to become orchardists or vineyard owners themselves. They already are familiar with the soil in this area and have seen it produce marvellous fruit crops.
Who has tested the soil in the Prairie Valley proposed land? Is that land as level as the land council wishes to remove from the ALR?
There is great emphasis being put on having housing within walking distance from downtown. I live in an orchard. When I travel the roads, I meet a number of walking folks, but these are folks who have left town for an exercising walk in the country, not the other way around.
I think the “walking distance” aspect is not a realistic objective.
Can you picture a mother pushing a stroller towards town in the heat of summer or in the cold of winter? Or anyone walking back towards home carrying bags of groceries or other purchases?
Having two members on council who desire to have their farm land developed rather than renting it out for production purposes is very disconcerting. I must add that I am very disappointed that only one member of council chose to oppose the growth plan as it stands. I do applaud his decision.