Bulletin – Dec 8 results

This is about a win that is important for the future of the Agricultural Land Reserve, as well as for Richmond.

It is essentially certain that Richmond’s Garden City Lands will remain in the ALR. On Monday afternoon, by a 6-3 vote, the general purposes committee of Richmond council voted down a proposal that would have given new life to the ALR-exclusion application that City staff, after discussion with Agricultural Commission staff,” had described as having “very little chance” of approval.

The committee then voted to renegotiate under an underlying agreement (“the MOU”) with Canada Lands Company, which was entrusted with title to the Lands by the federal government for the MOU purposes, and the Musqueam Indian Band, which has an unregistered 50% beneficial interest. (In other words, the Band was going to get half the profits from the anticipated ALR removal and rezoning, and it will still get half of any profits that occur.)

At the regular council meeting that evening, council unanimously adopted the renegotiation resolution. The aim is to secure the whole property for the City of Richmond (easier said than done, though). While that would not ensure that the Lands would remain in the ALR, public opinion has become sufficiently informed and on the “Save Garden City” side that the ALR status is reasonably secure.

Inevitably, the ALR-exclusion application will come to an end in the near future. One reason is that the changed circumstances mean that much of the rationale is no longer relevant. In any event, if City staff were right, the Agricultural Land Commission would turn down the application, since staff-recommended changes to give the application a better chance will now not occur.

In short:
We won!
The people of Richmond won.
The Agricultural Land Reserve won.
Food security won.
The environment won.

However, in the military analogy, we have just won a major battle. There will be more battles in the war.

This is a major milestone.
There will be more to accomplish.

But let’s celebrate for a few minutes.


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