OUR VIEW: New land trust a hard sell

Will North Saanich’s idea of a new trust created to acquire more farmland in Greater Victoria take root?

Will North Saanich’s idea of a new trust created to acquire more farmland in Greater Victoria take root?

That is a very good question. While the concept of a region-wide farmland trust and acquisition trust seems to be coming from the right place, it just might not be realistic.

On the surface of the problem lies the fact that farmland, when it becomes available, is very expensive. Longtime farming families sometimes use that property value to finance their retirement. Unless a farmer, or farming company, has the capital to take it on, that land will get a lot of pressure by land developers.

By no means is that example the hard and fast rule to farmland exchange, but it’s generally accepted that new farmers trying to obtain enough land to make their business profitable are few and far between.

The local food movement certainly makes the idea of acquiring more or existing farmland before it’s lost sounds reasonable. Yet, due to that cost, it will take some doing to convince regional municipalities to contribute enough to make the program worthwhile.

In North Saanich, the district has the potential to gain farmland in a pair of land deals. The former Sandown race track is proposing to give the municipality most of its property in exchange for a significant commercial development area close to the highway. The owners of Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club are proposing to close the course, shave off a bit of land for large lot housing and donate the lion’s share to the district as additional farmland.

Both proposals could be good for area farmers but as pointed out by Councillor Ted Daly this week, there doesn’t seem to be anyone chomping at the bit to farm it.

 

To be fair, it’s still early and those projects have not yet begun. The future of that land — and North Saanich’s regional land acquisition trust — is still up in the air.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Parents still seek clarity for future of Victor School

Motion avoided to remove special needs Victor School from boundary review proposal

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

Most Read