Open Letter To Simon Gibson – ALR Has Become A Farce

By May 31, 2014Letters

Re: Business Of Agriculture: The Integrity of The ALR Dear Mr. Gibson, Do you really believe what you are saying?! Balance?!

I have watched thousands of acres of excellent farm land being covered over with concrete since I bought my farm in Abbotsford decades ago. The ALR has become a farce. But imagine what the lower mainland would now look like had it not existed. Fifty years from now there will be no real farming in the lower mainland where the richest soil is except on the flood plains. 100 years from now those will be under water. But why should we care. We won’t be around.

By the time your oilfields and pipelines are built the world will have moved on to cleaner sources of energy. Remember coal? My ocean front cabin on a gulf island is offline. Solar energy allows us to do just fine with all the modcons. No dishwasher yet though.

Look to Hawaii if you want to see where B.C. is headed. Rampant development has turned paradise into a concrete jungle – and not just in Waikiki. Each new building blocks the views of the others. The aquifer for Honolulu is yards away from being contaminated by decades old military storage tanks (yesterday’s newspaper). They don’t think they can do anything about it! Homelessness has become such a big problem that it is seriously interfering with tourism. They are now rounding up the homeless and putting them in prison by the hundreds (newspaper 2 days ago), the cost of their rapid transit system has huge overruns and they haven’t even started construction yet. (Read graft and corruption.) In a climate where they should be able to grow everything and have the soil to do it most of the food is imported and is the most expensive in the U.S. Solar energy in the land of endless sun – let’s not even go there. Hawaii is anything but proactive. Everything is in the present. Deal with crises don’t prevent them. And it looks to me like B.C. is headed in the same direction. What we are doing is not sustainable. We can’t think about the future when we can only think in 4 year blocks.

Plan for the future, not the past or the present and you will do no harm. Be brave, think outside the box and your comfort zone. Before I accepted my position with the Government of B.C. I told them I would not accept the position
unless they were aware that in a choice between serving the Government or my profession I would always choose my
profession. Our program won international awards for excellence. I resigned when politics began to take precedence over quality service to those in need. Never thought about not having an income. Never worried about money and strangely I’m surrounded by it. As far as I’m concerned we have only one lifetime and I chose to try to make the world a better place than when I entered it. Not always easy but at least I sleep well at night. You and your colleagues are in a position to do more to effect change for the positive than I was. We’ll see how you do.

Len Ellis

Leave a Reply