Wednesday, February 01, 2012
BC Rail is buying land far from the railway or any of its assets
Delta councillor 'horrified' with port's view on farmland.
Delta Coun. Ian Paton said he was "horrified" when he learned Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester told Metro Vancouver politicians that more Agricultural Land Reserve farmland should be sacrificed to make way for more port expansion and the jobs that will bring.
"When you've got absolutely the finest Class 1 soil you can find in British Columbia right out at Brunswick Point area by TFN (Tsawwassen First Nation) lands, that's pretty pathetic when you start paving that stuff over for port expansion," Paton said. "I can't see paving over good, prime, Class 1 farmland to create a few more jobs out of the port—that's ridiculous."
Silvester made a presentation Thursday (Jan. 26) at a special strategy session of the Metro board in Chilliwack.
"What he was presenting is not an open avenue for reasoned discussion but a declaration of war on farmland," said Richmond Coun. Harold Steves, one of the founders of the ALR, who characterized Silvester's comments as a "very forceful" attack on the land reserve.
Steves said he is very concerned more farmland is being snapped up for possible port use.
He said farmers in Delta have told him BC Rail is buying land far from the railway or any of its assets.
"I assume they're buying land for port expansion," Steves said.
He noted BC Rail, as a Crown corporation, has the ability to expropriate land it wants.
And he said the port authority also asserts a right to overrule municipal zoning, the Regional Growth Strategy and the ALR.
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Falcon’s follies: Gateway,SFPR and the Railgate connection.