Willful blindness is the only way to describe the Core Review process vis a vis the ALC and ALR. There is absolutely no broader benefit of agricultural land, excepting of course greed, than sustaining its ability to produce food.
Substandard industrial and multi-national farming practices along with climate change are degrading huge tracts of land leaving it non viable for food production. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification ( UNCCD ) reports 1) 52% of land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by desertification. 2) land degradation affects 1.5 billion people globally. 3) arable land loss estimated at 30-35 times the historical rate. 3) due to drought and desertification each year 12 million hectares are lost ( 23 hectares per minute ) where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been produced.
Low quality soil classifications are very misleading, soil productivity can be improved using natural and sustainable land husbandry methods. Look at the crappy rocky terrain of the vineyards in the okanagan….no corn or soy there, no beef pastured where the cranberries are produced, some of that land is rocks and some is under water but all productive……no oil wells….no gas field…..no subdivision….no shopping centre, just farmers adding to the economy of the province by employment and production. Poor soil is far better than no soil, who will provide food for the anticipated 9 billion plus population expected by 2050, some of which will be your children and grandchildren. Can you hear them saying ” too bad we have to go hungary just because grandma and grandpa wanted two more pieces of silver ” ?
The government cut the agriculture budget ( the lowest in Canada ) by a quarter in 2009. They didn’t bother to implement changes requested by the ALC commissioner following three successive reports even though the Auditor General called them out for ignoring the needs of the ALC to fulfill their mandate and strengthen B.C.’s agriculture sector.
The ALR plan was established through a democratic process of public hearings 40 years ago. The ALR and ALC are now under attack behind closed doors, with no democratic process of public input or process. I thought, wrongly I guess, that democracy was for the people not the few.
When we work to defend the Core Review Beliefs of a few we risk becoming blind to the evidence that could tell us we’re wrong.
* Submitted by John McLeod