Tag Archives: farming

Delta Independent MLA Vicki Huntington

Port, Province Set to Steamroll Over Delta’s “Meaningless” Farmland


We’ve known it all along, but at last we hear it out loud. Robin Silvester, the President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver, has stated that:

“Agriculture is emotionally important, but economically [of] relatively low importance to the Lower Mainland. And in terms of food security, [it] is almost meaningless for the Lower Mainland.”

So there we have it…finally, honesty from someone in a position of power. Our Premiers and their governments have known it was too political to admit to — that Delta’s agricultural land will be turned into an industrial park.

And to put the icing on Delta’s cake, so to speak, the Premier commented at a recent dinner to the construction industry that those silly people in Delta don’t want the Port: how unpatriotic can they be? Look at the jobs, the opportunity to be “Canada’s face to Asia,” to contribute to the good of the province and of Canada!

Well, Madam Premier, we know the value of Deltaport to BC and to Canada. We live with it. We accept its presence. And we have given up more than you can imagine in order to host the port, as well as its access roads, its rail tracks, the overpasses, the highways and the causeways it requires to operate efficiently.

We have contributed to the economic prosperity of our country and region. And enough is enough. Credible alternatives are available in Vancouver harbor and at Prince Rupert so it is irresponsible to destroy more farmland and internationally-significant habitat for world-renowned salmon runs, Canada’s major stopover for migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway, and endangered southern resident orcas.

Now we know that the Premier and her industrial supporters intend to lay waste to what is left of the Fraser estuary. Now we know that any obligation to community, to family, to history, to wildlife (both marine and avian) migrations, to the finest agricultural land in Canada, is not on the provincial agenda. Habitat and farmland are being sacrificed for business and a plan that could ultimately be unfeasible. This is also about rezoning farmland, a lucrative enterprise for the business associates of government.

Many of those fighting to preserve what is left of Delta’s agricultural heritage and the migratory bird flyway that depends on those uplands have known that government policies supported Silvester’s position. It has been clear from its reports that the Gateway Council controls the government agenda. But to hear the comment finally spoken aloud is still a jarring experience.

Yes, Mr. Silvester, it is emotional. Our community – our families, our history, our agricultural industry, our soul and our quality of our life depend on the land. So does the entire Pacific population of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. But the people don’t matter. Nor does wildlife or the morality of protecting an international Treaty obligation to preserve the habitat on which that migration depends.

The people of B.C. recognize the importance of credible business and trade but question the motives of unnecessarily destroying the environment and fine agricultural land.

We deserve a say in the decisions that affect our communities and lives. Does anyone else feel there is a reason people are occupying Wall Street?

Vicki Huntington is the Independent BC MLA for Delta South and a contributor to The Common Sense Canadian


Vertical Farming: Does it Really Stack Up?


From The Economist – Dec 9, 2010

WHEN you run out of land in a crowded city, the solution is obvious:
build upwards. This simple trick makes it possible to pack huge numbers
of homes and offices into a limited space such as Hong Kong, Manhattan
or the City of London. Mankind now faces a similar problem on a global
scale. The world’s population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion by
2050, according to the UN. Feeding all those people will mean increasing
food production by 70%, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture
Organisation, through a combination of higher crop yields and an
expansion of the area under cultivation. But the additional land
available for cultivation is unevenly distributed, and much of it is
suitable for growing only a few crops. So why not create more
agricultural land by building upwards?

Such is the thinking behind vertical farming. The idea is that
skyscrapers filled with floor upon floor of orchards and fields,
producing crops all year round, will sprout in cities across the world.
As well as creating more farmable land out of thin air, this would slash
the transport costs and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with moving
food over long distances. It would also reduce the spoilage that
inevitably occurs along the way, says Dickson Despommier, a professor of
public and environmental health at Columbia University in New York who
is widely regarded as the progenitor of vertical farming, and whose
recently published book, “The Vertical Farm”, is a manifesto for the
idea. According to the UN’s Population Division, by 2050 around 70% of
the world’s population will be living in urban areas. So it just makes
sense, he says, to move farms closer to where everyone will be living.

Read full article here


Farmlands on the Brink: Tsawwassen’s Southlands


Hemmed in by Delta to the east, Point Roberts to the
south and the Salish Sea to the west, Southlands is a 538-acre farm that
has been in the middle of a tug-of-war between developers and farmland
defenders for nearly four decades.

The president of the development company
that owns Southlands has proposed a plan that he says could serve both
interests equally. Proponents argue that it could serve as a model for a
new form of planning — agricultural urbanism — where people and farms
can co-exist. Opponents fear it will only drive up the prices of
already expensive, and scarce, farmland in the region.

Read the full Tyee article here


The Tyee: Welcome to Farm School


“The agriculture that we should bring about substantially is local
scale, human intensive, ecologically sound,” says Dr. Kent Mullinix from
Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The director of Sustainable Agri-food
Systems acknowledges that, “The fact of the matter is this post
industrial agri-food system is going to require a lot of people, in
particular a lot of farmers.”

Mullinix references the work of Richard
Heinburg from the Post Carbon Institute whose research suggests that the
United States will need up to 50 million new farmers to work the land
and feed the people in a post carbon world. That’s roughly 17 per cent
of the current population. Applying that number to British Columbia
suggests that three quarters of a million of us will need to take up the
hoe. At the moment, I’m feeling woefully unprepared.

Read full Tyee article here