Summerland pro-ALR campaign scores again

Erin CarlsonMarch 4 update: Listen to follow-up CBC radio interviews. Clearly the March 3 public hearing went well. The Save Summerland’s Agricultural Land people had scored big in an earlier CBC interview. Young leader Erin Carlson respectfully decimated attempts to discredit the group’s online petition.

The Summerland Council is trying sleight-of-hand to get fertile farmland out of the ALR for development. Apparently hoping that no one would notice, they’re trying a two-step process to turn the Agricultural Land Commission’s approval to take some marginal land out of the ALR (a few years ago) into approval to take out far better farmland instead now.

It’s not a terrible thing to do, but it’s in a grey area at best. And ALR land speculators around B.C. must be drooling in anticipation if they think the tactic may succeed.

If you’d like further background before watching the very worthwhile ten-minute video, try “Bravo to ‘Stop the Swap‘.” Also, Erin has a significant role in “Gratefulness can heal threats to the ALR legacy.”

The earlier video is Summerland swap attracts controversyCBC Radio’s Daybreak South, Chris Walker interview, Monday, February 17, 2014.

I think the audience would quickly pick up on the irony of the critics who are hiding their identity questioning the validity of signers who are providing their identity.

In response to criticism that many of the signers don’t live in Summerland, Erin offered some analysis of the more than two thousand signers. (Checking right now, I see that the number has risen to 2,130 online signers, and I gather than many people have signed on paper too.)

I mentally turned Erin’s figures into fractions:

  • More than nine-tenths of the signers live in B.C.
  • Roughly half of those live in Summerland.

Along with the large number of local citizens, the large number from beyond Summerland reflects the harm to the whole province if Summerland council’s sleight-of-hand succeeds. Council members that listen would ask themselves why people around the province are concerned: the precedent would have wide effect. Treating non-Summerland British Columbians as nothings just makes the rejection of public input seem worse.

The CBC’s follow-up interview was with Dr. Jonathan White, Professor of Sociology, Bentley University, on the topic of online surveys, one of his areas of expertise. He explained:

It’s a low-cost way for average citizens to fight what almost always amounts to a better-resourced opponent.

The people in power are feeling a power shift, and they’re attacking the very method being employed by online activists, rather than defending their position on the issue, as perhaps they know they won’t win on a level playing field.

So the Summerland power-wielders are (a) using a questionable tactic with ALR land and (b) upset about democracy in action. Definitely makes one happy to be on the pro-ALR side!


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  1. […] Summerland pro-ALR campaign scores again. […]

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