Tinkering with Agricultural Land Reserve shows B.C. government is behind the times

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To the Editor:

The proposed tinkering with the Agricultural Land Reserve confirms again how outdated and behind the times the B.C. government, like many other governments, is. There should be no question that every square metre of B.C. farmland should be fully protected. Only five per cent of B.C.’s land is for farming; only one per cent of that has the best soil with the highest capability of growing crops.

Governments think as far as the next election and not of protecting our sacred Earth and of the tremendous population increase. They don’t seem to care whether future generations have a livable planet to survive on or not. Instead of destroying this most important resource, fertile farmland, they should put their time in to helping farmers in any way possible. Food prices are going up and up, but those increases don’t reach the farmers. They could promote and find ways so B.C. farm production goes into our stores instead of being brought in from places thousands of kilometres away. We know that 38 per cent of B.C. farmers are over the age of 55, 50 per cent of farm sales average less than $10,000 annually and much of the farmland is leased or rented from other owners.

We all can support our farmers first of all by buying food grown in B.C. and as close as possible to consumption. After all, we are now into climate change and the less distance we transport food or anything else, the better it is. I believe that farmers would rather go on farming and keep their land in production and young farmers would stay on family farms if they could make a good living with a good income. We can stop working for the economy and let the economy work for our well-being.

Good changes are taking place right here in the Creston Valley and more and more nutritious food is produced and grown right here. For the sake of a cleaner planet, well-being and happiness, and an economy that works for us all, we can start right here. We can help and create a better, sustainable world by supporting our local farmers and fruit growers.

Henry Dahle