We like to read letters to the editor from Wolfvillians. It gives us an idea what our fellow residents think since we don’t often get to hear their views expressed at town hall meetings. The latest letter which caught our attention was in The Register a few days ago with the header “County’s got a deal for you“. [There is a copy posted at Nofarmsnofoods]
The writer comments on Kings County’s “special treatment plan” for people who have agricultural land which they wish rezoned “but can’t because of some pesky old by-law“.
We do not know whether the 7 points laid out in the letter are accurate. They may be as we are aware that Councils will often give favoured interest groups special treatment, will do what they want to do, are deaf to constituents who disagree and often use taxpayers money for expensive consultants to conveniently back them up. We are absolutely on side with Ms. Haig-Stewart if there has been an abuse of due process. As a resident of Wolfville concerned with “fair and ethical” governance we expect to see her speak up when she sees it happen here.
The writer appears to be against the transformation of farmland into other uses. What is of interest to us is that we have not seen an equivalent concern about “developments” in Wolfville. Did she write a letter when the Woodman lands orchards were rezoned? Was she vocal about Railtown which was built on dykeland? Since she shows concern for this issue in areas outside of Wolfville was she helping put up signs to stop the transformation of farmland in New Minas into mega stores like Future Shop, Home Depot et al and their parking lots? Perhaps she is new to the area. Or we missed seeing her complaints. Or perhaps she favours developments in New Minas and Wolfville, just not in Greenwich and Port Williams.
We take issue with one of her statements.
WARNING – You will repeatedly have to listen to the arguments of the overwhelming majority of your fellow citizens who oppose the Special Treatment Plan and believe instead, in fair and ethical government and the need to save our agricultural resources for future generations. [emph ours]
Overwhelming majority of your fellow citizens? Could we please have some evidence for that notion? Was there a survey? No one asked us. [And if there was a survey answering it would have to be mandatory with a penalty to be valid as we have been told over and over again concerning the long form census.] Is she just counting signs for and against? This is not evidence. Anyway, at least as many properties don’t have signs of either type as have them. And the statement is not very specific. Which citizens does she refer to? Citizens of Canada? Not likely. Are these citizens of the whole Province who are “overwhelmingsly against” Kings Council on this issue, or just citizens in the Valley, or just citizens in Kings Co., or just citizens of Wolfville? Or perhaps they are just citizens in the writer’s social circle.
This is a complex issue. A balance needs to be struck and the people best qualified to decide are those who live and work in the area concerned. The NFNF campaign has become a cause celebre. There always seems to be one to keep the activists active.