The pitchforks are out. It is a pretty uneven battle. On one side are those of influence who want to preserve the bucolic landscape we love (some of us after making our livelihoods and fortunes elsewhere – probably somewhere urban).
On the other side are the farmers (at least some of them) who can’t seem to do well and think they have property rights. Poor sods. They should know we Canadians don’t really have property rights. They aren’t enshrined in the infamous Charter and if farmers want to sell their land for a purpose other than farming, it’s just too bad. Because the land is zoned agricultural and that is that. Zoning is sacrosanct. When it suits us that is. Or until government confiscates the land for something in the “common good”, say an airport or a Walmart or a wind farm.
In Wolfville agricultural land has been bought and sold for all kinds of purposes for generations. Half the properties around here were once farmlands or orchards. It wasn’t that long ago that the Woodman Grove development was approved. Wasn’t there an orchard there? But that is different, of course. We know better now.
Families who cashed in early were winners and we who followed have a right to benefit from any increase in value due to the new use. That is as it should be. Those families who maintained a farm for a hundred years or more instead of selling out when they could, when we were less enlightened, too bad for them.
So farmers, don’t rain on our parade. We like having you around. Your farms are quaint and a source of fresh veggies in season. We like to have you right next door so we can look out on green fields and fruit trees. Except when you smell and create noise and spray things; we retain the right to complain loudly about that and stop it if we can.
Never mind that we vote for people and policies that don’t actually support your business. Farms and farmers have to be over taxed like any other business and closely regulated. Get serviced by municipal water and sewage systems? No way. Pay for your own. And no Bio solids or pesticides or hormones or GM foods. You farmers have to watch your waste and fertilization practices to save our water. Costly yes, but we have a right to safe, fresh, cheap food and clean water. Not profitable? Oh, that’s too bad. So sorry. We’ll write a letter to the paper when your hog farm goes bust.
You say we are having our cake and eating it too? Why not? It’s at your expense not ours. Admit that our position is self -serving? Don’t think so. Hypocritical because we love to shop at Super store and Future shop? No way, we are saving the planet and our children’s patrimony.