Community to Canada Lands II

In late July 2009, I described in Community to Canada Lands I how the Garden City Lands community was making every effort to help Canada Lands Company CLC know how to provide community benefit for Richmond.

One way the community spoke was in a torrent of letters, all expressing the writers’ opinions, not form-letter repetition. The Coalition has been informed (usually via cc) of 46 such letters (and no doubt there were more). Those letters were from 60 people, since some were signed by two or more people. A good example of the letters from citizens is this handwritten letter from 75-year-old Lorraine Bell.

The community also spoke through the Save the Garden City Lands petition urging the Government of Canada to be prepared to restore its ownership of the Lands for program needs within the ALR, such as urban agriculture and ecology uses, that serve the people of Richmond and Canada. At the time when it was sent to Canada Lands, there were 1,962 signatures on paper or in an online form.

The Garden City Lands Coalition sent Save Garden City: An urgent request to Canada Lands Company, a thorough analysis of the Garden City Lands issue. The binder, which included the petition along with sixteen other sections, had 200 pages, all carefully prepared. If Canada Lands went through that, they should by now be very knowledgeable about how to provide community benefit in Richmond, in keeping with their mandate.

Canada Lands has not even acknowledged receiving Save Garden City, let alone responded to it. It is disappointing that Canada Lands would snub the community in that way. It is not good enough or even remotely close to being good enough.

There will soon be a need for further action to ensure that they genuinely act on their community-benefit mandate with the Richmond property and, if need be, to ensure that Canada Lands’ good or bad performance in Richmond becomes well known throughout Canada.

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