Are we doing enough to preserve agricultural land?

Cheeying Ho
Executive director, Smart Growth BC

“Of course not. We don’t think there should be any [ALR] exclusion applications, period. That would remove a lot of the speculation that is going on. If it was known that there are no exclusion applications and that farmland remains as farmland, it wouldn’t create all this speculation which makes people want to sell it because they think it has value.”

Derek Dang
Richmond city councillor and realtor

“Do I think that we have done enough to preserve it? I believe we have enough. As far as percentage, I think we have to be a little more selective and find out which farmland is usable farmland. I think there is an issue with that, based on the things we have been told by the [City of Richmond] agriculture committee.”

Donna Passmore
Agricultural campaigner, Farmland Defence League of B.C.

“Nowhere near. We are still approving approximately 70 percent of applications to subdivide and exclude land within the ALR. B.C. already has the most fractured farmland in the country, and that matters in the end. And also remember that farmland is worth between $30,000 and $50,000 an acre, while industrial land is worth around $1 million per acre.”

Ron Toigo
Managing director, Shato Holdings

“That’s what this whole application is all about: preserving agricultural land. The number of acres we took out of industrial zoning is the highest level of farmland, that would’ve turned into industrial properties—warehouses and what-not—and is saved in perpetuity. In this development, there is over 160 acres of land that was zoned industrial that is [to be zoned] agricultural.”