Farms are businesses first

Re: Farming Comes First (PNR Feb. 16). Ms. Goulet makes two points that do not make sense. To suggest we need a “cost benefit analysis of intensive gardening methods with farm-gate marketing methods” is one point. This was done. The mayor and North Saanich council requested an Agricultural Area Plan at a cost of $30,000-plus.

Several points in this report were not acceptable and this report will now be completed sometime this year and should address some of these issues. I’m not sure what the final cost will be to the taxpayers.

Her other point: “Vantreight Farm should play a key role in revitalizing the industry on the Peninsula by providing infrastructure and even training.” As far as I know the Vantreights are in the business of farming. They are not educators nor do they run a school for new farmers.

If someone wants to become a farmer they could apprentice on a farm, get an education in farming practices, or read the multiple books available on the subject. I can’t imagine taking on any new profession be it farming or selling cars without first learning something on my new chosen profession. Farming is a noble profession but like all business it must survive on its own merits. Taxpayers should not be scared or made to feel guilty in order to pay for unproductive farms. Tax benefits and help are already available.

Central Saanich and North Saanich are made up of more than just farms. I’m sure the local store, garage or insurance office would like to get more help as well.

Re: North Saanich interest appropriate (PNR Feb. 16). I wonder how many cars and trucks from North Saanich travel through and create problems for Central Saanich? When Dean Park was built did all the materials and equipment originate in North Saanich?

We have business from the entire Island move back and forth on each others’ roads, maybe we should build a gate and charge tolls?

Conny McBride,

North Saanich

Peninsula News Review