Has Delta Seeing Red
how big they can be without damaging quality Delta farmland is turning
three-way fight between greenhouse operators, the city council and the
Delta, which many
agrologists attribute with having some of the best quality farmland in
has been experiencing a spurt of growth in the number and size of
greenhouses, as many local operators look to increase year-round
vegetables, such as tomatoes.
Delta’s mayor, shares the concerns of many residents that top-quality
that should be used for large-scale production of cash crops, is being
up by greenhouse expansion.
“It makes sense
to put our greenhouses on lower quality soil and keep our good soil
things like orchards,” she said. “What we want to do is put some limits
size of greenhouses and where they can be set up.”
But David Ryall,
of the Greenhouse Growers Association, is threatening job loss if the
goes into effect.
“We could lose up
to 2000 jobs here because of this (bylaw),” he said, adding the
greenhouses in the manner the bylaw calls for would compromise their
grow varieties of crops and would discourage foreign corporations from
shop in the area.
But this concern
may become academic, as the BC Liberal government recently stepped into
fray and blocked the new bylaw by invoking the Farm Practices
which was brought in by the previous NDP government.
The act requires
that municipalities get approval from the provincial government before
laws that affect agriculture in their areas.
intent of the act was valid: to protect farmland from inappropriate
like golf courses; and to protect farmers from people moving into
subdivisions and making unreasonable demands about how agriculture
and smell,” says Dale Marshall, an agricultural and sustainability
with the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.
says it appears the Liberals are using the act to sacrifice valuable
in a knee-jerk response to yet another largely unsubstantiated threat
of foreign corporate investment—the benefits of which may be