Farm consultation a farce, industry benefits

Tom Fletcher’s opinions are not shared by any farmers I know.

Editor:

Re: Farm changes a great leap forward (B.C. Views, Aug. 13).

Tom Fletcher’s opinions are not shared by any farmers I know.

The B.C. government’s post-facto “public consultation process” is farcical given that Bill 24, which amends the Agricultural Land Commission Act, was passed this May. An authentic public consultation process should have been multi-year and province-wide, not invitation-only meetings and a one-month-long token public feedback process which highlight yet again the magnitude of our democratic deficit.

Fletcher’s analogy to Mao Tse-tung’s Great Leap Forward is apt, however, given B.C.’s democratic deficit and because Mao’s vision gave rise to China’s Great Famine, resulting in tens of millions of deaths. The Great Leap Forward has been defined as “a very expensive disaster.”

British Columbians will also pay a high price for the B.C. Liberal scheme to drastically change the ALR, as our food insecurity will increase and farm land even more polluted. The “farming” activities proposed by the B.C. Liberals will reduce the land available to grow food. Alcohol has very limited nutritional value.

The B.C. Liberals’ continued support for industrial agriculture, one of the world’s biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions, combined with fracking, oil development and anaerobic digesters will further pollute farmland.

Manure from organic farms is worth far more as fertilizer than as fodder for anaerobic digesters; only conventional farmers would seek to use their contaminated manure to generate power.

The B.C. Liberals need to remember that we all eat, including their buddies in the petroleum and the liquor sectors.

Louise Taylor, Grand Forks

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