Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blenkinsop Valley problems

MLA Lana Popham has a website created for people to register their complaints about farming practices in the Blenkinsop Valley.   She is saying it is not a place to rant about farmers, but the very existence of the site concerns me.

Farming in the area has been going on much longer than people have purchased houses in the area.   I can understand if it is an issue of pollution, but most of the areas she has for registering complaints concerns me.  

If one lives close to farms, it should be no surprise if there is a smell.   If you do not like the smell of farming, why did you buy in the area?    Propane cannons are an effective way to deal with birds eating crops, yes there are loud, but they are a normal part of farming and should be expected if you live near a farm.  

Back in the 1990s BC passed the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act.  The goal was to protect the ability to farm in BC.   Too often residential neighbourhoods have come up to the edge of farm country and the new residents not only do not adapt to where they are living, they expect the farmers to change what they do.

A basic stand has to be taken, farmers have to be able to farm.   People living close to farms know what they are getting into and have to expect the reality of farming.   The very act of someone complaining about normal farming practices puts a chill on all farmers in an area.

There are a huge number of reasons the majority of our farmers in the Victoria area have retired in the last generation, harassment by NIMBY residential neighbours does contribute to people wanting to leave the business.

This is the final word from Lana's website:

P.S. This is not a place to rant against farmers! I am a strong and active supporter of agriculture. However, I believe that farms located deep within residential areas have a special burden to accommodate the needs of their neighbours for the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

It is not the farms that are deep in residential areas, it is residential areas encroaching on farming area. The farms were there first and the farms are much more important to us than the houses.
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