Leave ALR as it is for the sake of B.C.

An open letter to Health Minister and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake

To the editor;

An open letter to Health Minister and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake:

I am a farmer.

I haven’t always been a farmer. In fact, I’ve done many things — some important, some not-so-important — but, without question, the most important thing I’ve done in my life is to be involved with food.

And not just any food, but the food we produce right here in our province. What makes it special is that someone many years ago decided it might be a good idea to reserve some land so we might have local food today.

I believe we were on the right track, but the trouble is we are now faced with a situation that could very well see us lose the very land we thought would feed us for generations to come.

This concerns me. If we lose this land, how do we feed our people of tomorrow?

I know you and your ministerial friends are concerned the people of B.C. aren’t living the economic dream.

Maybe if more land was available to exploit resources or be available for development, it might make their lives a little bit better, but land lost is opportunity lost.

Our future lies in the capacity of our Agricultural Land Reserve to feed this province.

Splitting it up only compromises the original intent of the ALR, which was to establish a land trust for future generations of farmers.

Your support of Bill 24 indicates to me you have no interest in how we feed ourselves, our children or their children. We have very little arable land in B.C. (four per cent of the province a last count).

Perhaps we should make it count as some of the best agricultural product in this nation comes from our province. Why would we sabotage that?

I ask you as a person who obviously holds the health and well-being of the citizens of our province dear to his heart to consider what a detrimental effect changing the spirit of the ALR will have on all of us.

I would like to know you, as our health minister, recognizes health begins with the land.

Please don’t give it away.

Dieter Dudy (Thistle Farm)

Kamloops, B.C.