Re: NDP tends farm fight in South Surrey, April 22.
I’m thrilled to see NDP Leader Adrian Dix out touring B.C. and fighting for the Agricultural Land Reserve, something he’s been doing well for the past six months.
And MLA Lana Popham (South Saanich), good on her.
But the ALR is in the crisis that it is now because the support from the NDP has been most noticeably absent until Bill 24 was dropped onto the B.C. public.
I’m the campaign director for the Farmland Defence League of BC and I live in this area. But I wasn’t invited to the NDP photo op; I’m not a New Democrat – or a member of any other political party – but worse, I ask the NDP tough questions.
Where does the NDP stand on Site C Dam? One-third of the ALR sits in the Peace River Valley, which will be flooded and its prime farmland destroyed to produce electricity to sell to the United States, as B.C. doesn’t need the power Site C will produce. Where’s the NDP’s support for preserving that third of the ALR?
It is very possible that Site C is a bigger threat to the ALR and food security than Bill 24. But the NDP has been stunningly silent on Site C.
What about Deltaport? For 10 years the NDP have pointedly ignored the cries for help of more than 50 groups that banded together under the Gateway 50 Citizens Network to fight the loss of thousands of acres of prime farmland and wildlife habitat to unnecessary highway and port expansion.
In the last election campaign, then NDP critic Popham didn’t say a word about preserving the ALR in her party’s platform. Instead, she floated a platform almost identical to the BC Liberals.
It’s wonderful that Popham and MLA Bruce Ralston (Surrey-Whalley) went to a lovely little volunteer food-bank farm in South Surrey to speak for the ALR, but that land isn’t actually threatened by Bill 24.
It would be helpful if the NDP would fight for farmland that is actually threatened.
Donna Passmore, White Rock