Lukewarm support for regional district agriculture plan

Regional district board passes agriculture plan - with some reluctance

The Regional District of Nanaimo last week gave final approval of their agricultural area plan, with all but one director voting in favour.

That director was Coombs-Hilliers director Julian Fell, who reiterated his contention that the plan won’t do what it set out to do, which is to increase the amount of food produced on central Vancouver Island.

Fell, who called for a recorded vote on the issue, said Vancouver Island only produces about 10 per cent of its food and only has about three days of fresh food on hand.

“A seismic interruption would be ominous,” he said.

Fell said the RDN agricultural plan won’t help.

“The agricultural plan follows the Agricultural Land Commission’s social theories and no agricultural plan based on social theories has ever worked,” he said. “In Russia and Cuba, they had to retract them. Only the Agricultural Land Commission and North Korea follow this.”

Although he voted in favour of the plan, Deep Bay-Bowser director Bill Veenhof expressed trepidation about doing so.

“I am voting in favour, but I feel there are significant issues with it,” he said. “I plan to continue to work within the plan on those issues.”

Qualicum Beach director Dave Willie also expressed lukewarm support.

“I would add my concerns,” he said. “We need to step carefully with this plan. We have to look carefully at how we increase food production and we need to look at new alternatives. I’m not sure this speaks to those but its a start an I hope we can work with the document to make food production move forward.”

 

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