Making straw men with cranberries

Today’s Globe and Mail article about the Garden City Lands shows the challenge ahead. Certain Richmond council members are determined to confuse things. It’s happening right before our eyes, but we can’t stop it.  I’ll try anyway because every little bit helps.

After talking to Coun. Greg Halsey-Brandt, the Globe and Mail reporter writes:

He said he favours developments such as community gardens, swimming pools, ice rinks and soccer fields—uses that would require approval to take the land out of the agricultural reserve.

My comment: Community gardens are agriculture. Since when is permission required to engage in agriculture on agricultural land? Suggesting that exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve would be required is blatant nonsense. Apparently the councillor has trouble understanding the ALR, but surely he could become informed enough to realize that Richmond already has community gardens on ALR land.

Taking Greg Halsey-Brandt’s views further, the reporter writes:

The residents should have a chance to vote on whether the city should leave the land in the agricultural reserve “for growing cranberries” or apply to take some or all of the land out of the reserve for community facilities, Mr. Halsey-Brandt said. “Now the battle is going to heat up over what we are going to use it for, because I will be damned if we are going to use it just for growing cranberries.”

Two comments:

  • The Richmond community has been endlessly consulted about the Garden City Lands. Every time, the obvious conclusion from what the citizens say that they want the property to remain in the ALR for ALR-permissible purposes.
  • There has been no proposal to devote the Garden City Lands to cranberries. So neither Mr. Halsey-Brandt nor anyone else will be damned for the sake of cranberries. In contrast, pretending that his straw men are real opponents and then knocking them down to fool the public might create problems in Mr. Halsey-Brandt’s ultimate future. Let’s not wander further into theology, but I sincerely hope he won’t ever go that far downhill.
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