Bumps in the road

I’m asked, “What if the Agricultural Land Commission removes the Garden City lands from the ALR?”

That decision might be just a bump in the road to a green future. But we’ll need a council that knows the issue, listens, plans, and acts with courage.

Keep in mind that the property is currently protected by both the provincial ALR and our city’s agricultural zoning. Even if it comes out of the ALR, anyone wanting to change its use must apply to Richmond council for rezoning.

A good council will then hold a genuine hearing. It won’t be like the “public hearing” sham of March 2008.

No doubt the citizens will make a convincing case against rezoning. A good council will heed them and do its duty. It will refuse to rezone.

After that, the lands won’t have inflated value.  It will be time for renegotiation.

Canada Lands Company, the federal crown corporation entrusted with the property title, should transfer it to Richmond at fair value and compensate the Musqueam Band for its beneficial interest.

If the company dares try to sell the lands to someone else, it will alienate the federal government. And no city in the country will deal with it again.

Just another bump.

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