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Barnston Island


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I'm posting some info about this story here as I haven't heard much about it in the mainstream media.

From a document I received by e-mail:

"The End of Agriculture on Barnston Island?

Over time, developers purchased land as it became available on Barnston Island. In November, 2003, applied (application # 35256) to have 1,100 acres of the island "excluded" from the protection of the Agricultural Land Reserve so that the area could be turned into an industrial development. In a report dated January 21, 2004, the GVRD reported that there are currently 8,615 acres of vacant industrial land in the region. Langley’s Gloucester Industrial park has a persistent 40% vacancy rate 3 years post-construction. Surrey’s 260 acre Campbell Heights industrial park is just being built. How many industrial parks do we need? At the expense of farmland?

Let the Agricultural Land Commission know if you believe we should keep Barnston Island in the ALR.

Provincial Agricultural Land Commission

133-4940 Canada Way

Burnaby, BC V5G 4K6

Attn: Gordon Bednard

Email: Gordon.Bednard@gov.bc.ca"

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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Keith - Land coming out of the ALR basically means land that will no longer be available for agricultural use. This is a reoccuring theme around our Province, ultimately meaning that we will eventually be forced to purchase more of our food globally, wasting many resources transporting it here. No local agricultural land = no local agriculture.

Gastronomista

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Because its farm land! Barnston Island Herb Corp is located there. Isn't there enough empty space in Surrey to develop big-box-industrial rather than this precious farmland?

further info on the application:

http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/application_statu.../35256_main.htm

stories:

http://www.surreyleader.com/portals-code/l...id=635712&more=

http://www.vancourier.com/issues05/083205/dining.html

http://www.thenownewspaper.com/issues04/02.../023104nn1.html

http://www.bcndpcaucus.ca/in_the_house/ral...barnston_island

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

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Well it sure as hell won't be used to produce food if it becomes a light industrial complex or whatever. The population is growing in this city. We would do well to think ahead about maximizing local food production.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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  • 5 weeks later...

A weekly e:mail from Hazelmere Farm advised me that there is a news conference scheduled Friday June 2nd on this issue. Here's the info.

"All who support keeping Barnston Island in the Agricultural Land Reserve are urged to attend a news conference at the Barnston Ferry Landing:

Friday, June 2nd, 10:30 am, Barnston Ferry Landing

(as parking is limited, please carpool where possible).

Please forward to everyone who has an interest in protecting human and wildlife foodlands.

For more information:

Donna Passmore

Ag Campaigner, Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition

604-536-2790 (home) or 604-631-6210 (work)"

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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Keith,

Please explain how taxpayers subsidise the ALR & how much funding such landowners receive from public funds. I believe that subsidies for certain activities within the ALR should be available, especially if you want to see agriculture as part of the cultural landscape OR consumers can start paying the real value for food & move away from the inane pursuit of cheap food, but this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

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        Please explain how taxpayers subsidise the ALR

Through a greatly reduced property taxation rate than would be otherwised charged if the land was used for other purposes. Those lost taxes are made up by ratepayers in the jurisdiction the ag land is located. In addition, a cost is born by people all over the region, not just Surrey in increased traffic, road congestion and pollution as the vehicles that would drive to Barnston Island will now have to continue down the 1 to Langley or whatever alternate site is eventually developed.

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Reductio ad absurdum much? (And there's probably a pretty good pun to be made about straw men in there somewhere.)

Just recognize that for every slice of heaven you preserve, one somewhere else is going to be destroyed, so then it becomes a question of what are the costs associated with each. Preserve Barnston, and traffic will be pushed farther along the 1.

I'm not qualified to say if this would be better or worse than the alternative, maybe you feel you are qualified to.

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Reductio ad absurdum much? (And there's probably a pretty good pun to be made about straw men in there somewhere.)

Just recognize that for every slice of heaven you preserve, one somewhere else is going to be destroyed, so then it becomes a question of what are the costs associated with each. Preserve Barnston, and traffic will be pushed farther along the 1.

I believe that you might be peering down a slope.

It isn't necessarily true. At some point we must sacrifice progress. Can we live without the extra industrial capacity? No automatic presumptions please.

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Where has increasing traffic capacity led to reductions in congestion, pollution & all the other associated evils. The population of BC lives beyond it's means!!!(Google-William Rees UBC professor), simply put the growth that has been experienced cannot be sustained without costs(social,economic & environmental-both domestically & within the international context-we benefit from the suffering of others) Who decides what is an acceptable cost, & to whom is it acceptable? Government is doing NOTHING to engineer a shift in thinking in this respect. I live in Gastown & see the potential for improving the core of the city in order that such areas, traditionally forsaken, can become more attractive, livable communities. Should not this development occur before uprooting greenbelts(especially so if the result means food has to be transported from farther afield!) Newsflash!! Oil is going to end, perhaps sooner than most believe(google-peak oil) . I certainly dont have all the answers, but the idea of maintaining areas of land suitable for farming is important & more fundamentally we do not necessarily comprehend how important a resource it could eventually become. Anyway can the Govt. take First Nation's land & asphalt over that, they pay next to no taxes & are subsidised to the tune of Billions by taxpayers :wink:

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Sean - I think we're too far apart politically to resolve anything without a bottle of good single malt between us, then we could sort the problems of the world. My final point is that the geography of the lower mainland is unique enough (esp. being limited on three sides) for most assumptions current urban planning theory makes to be unapplicable the here.

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Anyway can the Govt. take First Nation's land & asphalt over that...

1. we already did

2. i was with you through the paragraph, i was cheering you on there sean. then i get to the ending and you shit the bed, for real.

3. no wink

4. keith, the 'less congestion' if we rip up barnston argument is pretty poor. i know its cool to not believe in anything, i know you love playing heathen, but less ALR will not solve your traffic dilemmas. that's just lazy.

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

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There was supposed to be a press conference at the island yesterday. Did anyone hear anything in the news?

Even though I disagree with Keith Talent's point of view, I think it's valuable to have a devil's advocate on the board. Whether he's being facetious or not, there are a lot of people who think like him in this province.

Unless you want to rip up your suburban lawn to grow potatoes, there's not going to be enough soil to grow food crops in BC. Furthermore, if farmers in Sask. think it's more profitable to grow Ethanol crops, they are going to further deplete the soil there to the point where it is useless. Where are we going to grow the food if we f--- up all the soil/air/ground water that supports it?

I hear they are growing roses in old mines in Manitoba. Is this where we are headed?

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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  • 1 month later...

The CBC reports today that Barnston will be kept in the ALR:

B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission has rejected an application to turn most of Barnston Island in the Lower Mainland into an industrial park.

Most of the 560-hectare island in the Fraser River near Surrey has been set aside as farmland for decades as part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

Cheers,

Anne

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  • 3 months later...

Unless you want to rip up your suburban lawn to grow potatoes, there's not going to be enough soil to grow food crops in BC. Furthermore, if farmers in Sask. think it's more profitable to grow Ethanol crops, they are going to further deplete the soil there to the point where it is useless. Where are we going to grow the food if we f--- up all the soil/air/ground water that supports it?

This issue is similiar to the original topic posted.

...A road location designed and planned for in 1978 has been ignored at the cost of a thriving organic blueberry farm.

If this road is built across an active, profitable farm against the will of the owners and where an alternative design exists and has existed for decades, it can only be because we no longer have an interest in the protection of farms or farmland, anywhere.

As things presently stand, the family farmers of this property will lose. I have told them so. If this happens all farmers lose. People who wish to buy healthy organic produce will lose. Supporters of rational planning and preservation of agricultural land will lose....

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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You know what the solution is? Dig up all the grass around your house, and plant something you can eat. Even flowers! Minimal work equals freezer full of the best tomatoes you will ever eat.

I am a member of the Rayn or Shine community garden, and a member of the Vic West Food Securtiy Collective, which I believe is the only group in Greater Victoria whose focus is local food sustainablilty. They turned a gravel parking lot behind an apartment block with ground floor commercial space into 10 garden beds. The only rule is organic and edible, and year rround. The garden obviously not only looks better and provides lots of real food, but has helped the retailers on the block grow. The landowner gives us the space and the water, and we pay for insurance through membership fees.

Recently, we planted 15 fruit bearing trees in part of Bamfield Park, across the street in a green space between the tennis court and a parking lot. Funding for this came from the city.

There is also a community market run all year round associated with the Collective. Only one of two that will run through the winter in Greater Victoria.

This is the answer. At work, we buy "locally" from Barnston quite a bit (but usually buy more locally), and their products are superior. This is great for the restaurant, but for you and the people you love?

Get organized, find a leader if you are not one, and do it yourself!

-- Matt.

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Yay Matt, we need to plant urban food gardens. Everywhere I see a vacant lot I imagine a vegetable garden, but alas, the developer's permits grow faster than radishes.

Here is an encapsulated blurb on the Formosa Farm problem from the Farm Folk City Folk -newsletter. Let's help this organic farmer stay in business!

"Formosa Nursery (12617-203rd St. Pitt Meadows) an Organic blueberry

farm and nursery in Pitt Meadows will be dissected by the Abernathy

Connector of the future Golden Ears Bridge (part of the Gateway

Project), making farming difficult and dumping tons of

automobile-related pollutants onto this certified organic farm.

Supporters are showing support for preserving Formosa Nursery by

moving the Abernathy Connector to the south boundary of Pitt Meadows

and Maple Ridge at 126th Avenue right of way, where it was originally

drawn.

You can write in support of protecting this farm: TransLink Board

gvtaboard@translink.bc.ca or Premier Gordon Campbell

gordon.campbell.mla@leg.bc.ca

For more information contact Donna Passmore,

Transportation-Agriculture Campaigner Fraser Valley Conservation

Coalition

604-536-2790 / 631-6210

Background: http://www.mrtimes.com/issues06/094206/new...9nn8.html"

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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You know what the solution is?  Dig up all the grass around your house, and plant something you can eat.  Even flowers!  Minimal work equals freezer full of the best tomatoes you will ever eat.

This is the answer. At work, we buy.....

-- Matt.

Absolutely, but, unfortunately, over here, the majority are going to be living in eventually eroding towers, with absolutely no grass or soil to grow anything in. Also, it's doubtful whether one could consider items grown within the core of all this development to be organic. It's great that you have support from landowners, however, here that is very rare, and that is also being threatened, which was the purpose of my post.

Could you expand on what is the answer for those of us who may not work in the industry or have access to the priviliges that it might offer?

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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Absolutely, but, unfortunately, over here, the majority are going to be living in eventually eroding towers, with absolutely no grass or soil to grow anything in.  Also, it's doubtful whether one could consider items grown within the core of all this development to be organic.  It's great that you have support from landowners, however, here that is very rare, and that is also being threatened, which was the purpose of my post. 

Could you expand on what is the answer for those of us who may not work in the industry or have access to the priviliges that it might offer?

I think the people you refer to are exactly the people community gardening is all about. You have a 100 X 300 lot? You can probably grow whatever you like. You rent a duplex on a busy corner and don't have access to decent soil? Use your community resources to find someone who has what you want, as is willing to share.

Around where I live, in Vic West, property development is huge. We have the Railyards Project and the Dockside Green Project, both of which are massive, and are really building neighbourhoods. There is also completed development of two, five story office/retail blocks, which house the HQ of Coast Capital Savings, as well as a 10 story condo block, and much more on the way in the Songhees, just a few blocks away. The few blocks around my house have the last un/derdeveloped waterfront in Victoria. Will food from my little plot ever be certified organic? Of course not, but that doesn't matter.

Working as a cook, I suppose I have some insight into buying food. If you were a carpenter, would you know about wood?

There are things you can do, even if you don't want to grow any plants. You can visit area farmers markets. This gets you better food, and directly supports the small or hobby farmer, as well as the guy with the eggs, who has chickens in his back yard. You can order from any of the organic home delivery services. Here in Victoria, we have a few, and most of them buy local, as much as possible. Don't worry, you can still get avacados and bananas.

You can also, hint hint, support local farmers and promote food security by choosing to dine in higher-end restaurants, whose chefs make a point of serving local as much as possible. Our plates are about 75% local (but not always 'organic') and I'm sure you can find a place you like, that feels the same.

-- Matt.

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