EDITORIAL: A bad approach to a serious problem

It would have been easy for Sooke council to jump on the bandwagon to support the Capital Regional District’s Regional Foodlands Access Program.

After all, it’s not politically correct to argue against the concept of food security or any strategies that move to establish new farmers and promote food security. The CRD has said that only 50 per cent of the CRD’s ALR is in food production and that, with more than 50 per cent of the region’s farmers retiring in the next decade, high land prices may prevent new farmers from entering the farming sector.

That’s why Coun. Al Beddows is to be congratulated for moving beyond the green rhetoric and high-minded philosophic underpinnings of the plan to look at some stark realities.

It appears that he realized that the CRD’s good intentions, when coupled with a bad approach, were likely to lead to poor results.

For one thing, the only land dedicated to the land trust to date is located in Saanich and North Saanich. Further, it was acknowledged that no appropriate land exists in the Sooke region for the program.

That means that Sooke would be relegated to a funding source for the project, and not an active, direct beneficiary.

And while some may argue that this might be a parochial approach that ignores the bigger picture, Beddows pushed back against that idea and brought the issue home.

He argued that the $10,000 a year that Sooke residents would be spending on the program, while not a huge sum, would amount to $100,000 in the next 10 years and mused about what could be accomplished in Sooke if that money was dedicated to food security in our own backyard.

It’s a good question.

If Sooke, or any municipality outside the areas where land trust property is located, chose to dedicate funding to initiatives like community gardens or to the support of the small farms in their own backyards great things might be accomplished.

But there’s the rub.

While pushing back against funding the CRD’s solution to food security has framed the argument, the next step is to carry that argument to the next logical point.

If Beddows and Sooke’s council agree that local food security programs are important, and are hesitant to fund the existing plan, they need to take the next step to come up with a plan to promote farming in our own backyards.

That’s the difference between obstruction and vision.

Just Posted

Ten candidates will run in Sooke byelection

A mixture of well known figures mix with newcomers to the field

In the footsteps of Emily Carr

Following in a hero’s footsteps sometimes means filling some pretty big shoes.… Continue reading

Junior A hockey coming to Sooke

Exhibition game helps the Rotary Club to help community youth

Life-Altering experience

Six weeks that served to change their view of the world

Sooke school district creates new comprehensive school health position

Ruchi McArthur will develop framework to improve wellness of students

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read