LETTER: Choosing between farmland and city growth

At what stage do we decide to ensure that the land will provide the produce for survival?

Two items in The News which cause me concern: The first,”Plan eyes removing land from ALR,” followed by an equally large headline, “Creating a “city of centres”

The conundrum – which shall it be? In my early childhood in eastern Canada, the essentials for life were to [a]own a plot of land, and{b] ensure that the soil was rich enough to grow a crop which could sustain family through the winter months.

Following a move to  BC at the end of WW2, my family found living here, and in particular living in the Fraser Valley was next to paradise, but paradise is never without its distractions. First, many others decided on the same destination. The area,embracing the Lower Mainland and the Valley has become home to thousands each with the same desires – building houses, and industries,  and oops, using up more land to a degree that the Agricultural Land Reserve was necessary to set boundaries, lest the rich producing soil would no longer feed growing families.

Now the paradox. At what stage do we decide to ensure that the land will provide the produce for survival ?

It would seem wise to build the abode from sticks and stones, and tend the rich soil to provide food stuffs; or should we just keep building towers to house the millions, leaving the mountain tops with their rocky outcroppings for the cultivation of food?

The province of B.C. is a large mass, each parcel with its own boundaries. The blessings within the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley must be viewed as a whole, and not just as city, or town or village. I trust that our legislators  will exercise their wisdom before committing more land for exclusion from the reserve. Families in other areas depend on the products from our rich soils, just as we depend on their efforts for our survival.

People don’t eat rocks …

Frank Manderson