Metro passes controversial 30-year land-use plan


From The Province – Jan 16, 2011

by Kent Spencer

Metro Vancouver directors approved a 30-year land-use plan for the
region on Friday, despite one director’s concerns about protecting

The document, called the “Regional Growth Strategy,”
builds on principles of sustainability and protecting green spaces,
with emphasis on regional town centres where people work, live and

One Metro director, Richmond Coun. Harold Steves, came out
strongly against the plan, but he was the only one of almost three
dozen who felt that way.

“The big threat in this plan is against
agriculture. We are allowing it to be threatened,” said Steves, noting
there are “food riots” in the world as a result of shortages.

said the inclusion of seven “special study” areas in Metro’s plan, in
places such as Langley Township and Pitt Meadows, gives tacit
acceptance to municipalities’ efforts to actively try to convert
farmland into non-farm uses.

“It increases land speculation and
the hopes of developers. Speculators never give up. They are
relentless,” said Steves, who comes from a farming background.

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About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.