Don’t mess with the land reserve

An exception in one place makes it much more difficult to oppose exemptions in other places. Pretty soon there would be no more ALR.

Editor: I am pleased to take this opportunity to express my support for preserving farmland in general in B.C., the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission in particular, and specifically the now-contentious green lands in Langley Township.

While one can understand how local officials might think it wouldn’t hurt to make some ALR removals in just a little bit in just a little place in a special circumstance, but they fail to appreciate the dangers of setting such precedents.

If we the people allow an exception in one place, it makes it much more difficult to oppose exemptions in other places and then pretty soon there would be no more ALR and then no more farmland.

There are many good reasons for preserving farm lands, but one of the more important and less obvious ones is that in future decades world problems probably will worsen to the point that international and overseas trade will cease.

At that point, the four million people of B.C. would become wholly dependent on what we would be able to grow for food in our own territory — and the land in the Fraser Valley is clearly the best location for that. In this province, the Fraser Valley is one of the few places for agriculture, that because B.C. is so dominated by rocky terrain and cold winters.

In short, we will soon need all of the farmland we have for producing our own food. If that land is converted to non-farming uses it could be lost forever.

John Twigg,

West Vancouver