Everyone loses in farm fill decision
Let’s look back now to see what has been achieved since the historic council session that voted 7-0 in favor of the new soil bylaw.
First of all it was determined that the only thing being done wrong at the Finn Road farm was the incorporation of “bathtub” size pieces of concrete in the farm road. Concrete should be a maximum size of 18 inches and according to statements made at the council meeting all have now been reduced to that size or less. Having operated much farm equipment I can assure you that it doesn’t matter whether you encounter an 18 inch or a bathtub size piece of concrete the net result will be the same. You will destroy your expensive equipment. So no practical progress on that front.
On the legal front the city now has a new bylaw. Staff warned council that more staff would be required. But for what? Both staff and council agreed and readily admitted several times that the Agricultural Land Commission rules will trump any city bylaw. So how is this progress? We can now look forward to permit fees and higher city staffing costs. These costs will be reflected in higher taxes and make Richmond an even more unaffordable place to live. So on that front I see a net loss and a step backwards.
Politically, council took the popular stance. After all, this is a motherhood and apple pie issue. Political expediency and self interest at its best ruled the day. Rather than look at reality and say this matter is for the Province of B.C. to deal with since they have the legislative power and are responsible for the ALC; our mayor says this issue is: “exactly our business” and council follows as indicated by their unanimous vote. I expect better from my politicians. Maybe they should read the Serenity Prayer which has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I expect my politicians to know the difference and act in such a way as to direct people to where their voices can make a difference, even acting in an advocacy role if necessary, rather than burdening us with new fees and higher taxes in an effort to gain more power, prestige and enlarge their empire.