Paul Laity and his son Matthew are concerned for their farm if the Aquilini property is removed from the agricultural reserve.

Letters: Application to remove ‘food’ land should be denied

Drought in the U.S. and population growth makes it wise to save farmland

Editor, The News:

Re: Online petition to keep farmland (The News, June 15).

I would like to clear up a few misconceptions that may have occurred as a result of  Phil Melnychuk’s article.

Annette LeBox  was quoted as saying  “… the Pitt Polder Preservation Society, which tried to preserve  farmland a decade ago, is now dissolved.”

Unfortunately,  this seemed to indicate that the polder society had not been involved in protecting farmland for the past 10 years,  but in fact the society,  which was formed in 1996  to stop a housing development in the Pitt Polder,  was actively involved in protecting both the environment and farmland until its dissolution in December 2014.

As  was correctly stated in the article,   the first proposal made by the Peltons to remove land from the ALR for industrial development occurred in 2004.

At this time, the Pitt Polder Preservation Society launched a petition opposing the exclusion.

But as this proposal did not make it past the council of the day,  it was filed away.

Re-enacted  in opposition to the second Pelton proposal in 2010,    the petition, which had grown to 2,335 signatures, was presented to the Agricultural Land Commission in 2010.

The polder society launched a campaign opposing this exclusion and consequently dozens of letters and emails were submitted to the ALC.

In October  2010, this proposal to remove 66 hectares of land from the ALR for industrial development was denied.

The reasons  given by the ALC for refusing the application  (the land being agriculturally capable,  no justification for converting agricultural land in a prime agricultural area, negative impacts on surrounding lands)  have  even more significance today.

Continued drought in the U.S. (from whence we acquire considerable produce), diminishing global food lands,  climate change,  the environmental impact and costs associated with importing food,  rapidly increasing population in the Lower Mainland,  and the threat of the Site C dam, which is destined to flood hundreds of hectares of prime food land in northern B.C.,  increases the importance of protecting our vitally important food lands.

It was,  of course,  inevitable  that another application to develop this particular piece of land would re-surface,  so it was no surprise that the new owners – the Aquilini Investment Group – would request  to remove this land from the ALR.

There are other areas in Maple Ridge that are suitable for industrial development (as was also noted in  the ALC decision),  but  quality food land, where water and climate are agreeable to food production, is a tremendous bonus.

Common sense dictates that this application should be flatly denied.

Diana Williams

Pitt Meadows

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

13 productions shooting in Maple Ridge this month alone

Maple Ridge was one of the first Lower Mainland municipalities to welcome back film crews

ON COOKING: Chef Dez offers help in the kitchen during a pandemic

COVID-19 has more people at home and spending time in the kitchen

NETWORKING: Cultural competency is crtical in Maple Ridge, too

VIDEO: In response to Black Lives Matter, the CN Network conducted a number of local interview

Flames will start new season based in Abbotsford

Junior B team could not find ice in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows

LETTER: Glad to say goodbye to CERB for local drug users

Reader feels COVID subsidy contributed to more overdose deaths among Maple Ridge homeless

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read