I read with interest Tom Fletcher’s Dec. 9 column entitled, “Business not as usual on B.C. farmland.” Fletcher characterizes the plan as “mostly status quo,” with its emphasis on increasing product manufacturing and sales on ALR land, and increased irrigation.
The plan makes little mention of food security. It does, however, state that climate change will significantly reduce crop yields in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world in coming years and that B.C. and other higher latitude jurisdictions … “may benefit from increased crop yields and new crops.” This makes sense.
How then, in a province with just three per cent arable land to begin with, can the government justify removing 31,528 acres of farmland from the ALR to build the Site C Dam? Agrologist Wendy Holm estimates that farmland, which will be flooded by construction of the dam, could produce food to feed one million people. For this reason alone the Site C Dam should never be built, and there are many other good reasons.
About half of the food currently consumed by British Columbians comes from outside the province. With devastating droughts like the one that has recently hit California becoming more frequent, we must become much more vigilant in protecting our farmland and increasing production on it.