Editorial: Chemainus campground a case for use of discretion by ALC

It would be a different matter if the owners had bought a working, or even dormant farm

We are fully in support of maintaining the agricultural land reserve in British Columbia.

Without it, this province would face a future of having no capability of feeding ourselves. Already, we are dependent on an uncomfortable amount of imports, and thus the volatility of the political and environmental climates in far-off places.

RELATED: Vancouver Island campground on the chopping block in ALR battle

But there needs to be common sense applied when looking at cases such as the Chemainus River Campground. The campground is threatened with closure, as it seems technically, the land they are occupying is within the ALR. However, this seems to be more of a bureacratic map-making oddity than a look at reality. The property never has been used for farming, what with being covered in trees and all.

The purpose of the ALR is vital. Without it, thousands and thousands of acres of land that needs to be used to grow and raise food, one of the basics of life, would have been lost to development, both industrial and urban/suburban. This was where land-use was trending when the ALR was created with great foresight, beginning in 1973. At that time nearly 6,000 hectares of agricultural land was being lost every year. Land pressures and prices have only increased, not decreased with time. As it is, the ALR makes up only about five per cent of the province.

But it makes no sense to shut down a viable business in a community that has been operating for years, when nobody wants it gone. It would be a different matter if the owners had bought a working, or even dormant farm, and plunked down a campground in the middle of a potato field. But that’s not what happened. Realistically, this is not going to become a farm.

This is a clear case where an exception should be made — really an error righted. That’s why we have real human beings at the Agricultural Land Commission, so they can use some discretion. The community is united on this one. Make the right choice.

Just Posted

OPINION: Old enough to know what’s been lost in B.C. salmon

Stephen Hume writes about the lack of discussion on the province’s dwindling salmon population

Anonymous Good Samaritan pays outstanding rent for Sidney woman facing eviction

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Vancouver Island kids shovel for charity

Group of Parksville youngsters will donate the $185 raised digging out the neighbourhood

‘We feel forgotten’: Colwood residents stranded inside seniors apartment due to uncleared snow

All of the 60 residents at Colwood Lodge are living with some sort of disability

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bike lane snow clearing anger misplaced, says Victoria

Some residents accusing city of prioritizing cycling paths over roads and sidewalks

Province puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

Remaining Danbrook One tenants ordered to vacate immediately

Property management company offering each unit $1,000 in ‘compassionate assistance’

Island winter storms good news for Mount Washington

The resort received 46cm within the last 24 hours, for a total snowbase of 130 cm.

Flood at Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse leads to six-month closure

Golf course not affected, will reopen once snow melts

VicPD seizes significant amount of drugs, loaded guns in three separate stings

Three separate busts over five months led to seizures, four individuals taken into custody

Theatre production brings Inuit creation myths to the stage in Nanaimo

‘Unikkaaqtuat’ combines music, illustrations and circus arts

Most Read