Friday, 23 December 2016

The High Price of Development

The city of Brantford apparently just annexed 6500 acres of prime agricultural land, which means it's going to be developed at some future point. Brantford just took the chance to get the increased revenue from property taxes, and some landowners just found out their property is worth a lot more.  And everyone stands to lose.

Why is it that our city planners and the people who make these decisions don't realize what they're doing? Where do they think their food is going to come from? As cities encroach further and further into Canadian farmland, apparently seeing it as an inexhaustible resource, they only push closer and closer to the Canadian Shield, where soil is poor and thin and the climate is colder. They are paving over and disturbing the resource that allows our continued existence. I am more than outraged; I am despairing. I am frightened. Do they just expect food to magically appear from nowhere? Don't they mind that we're becoming more and more reliant on foodstuffs shipped in from far away? What happens when those far-away places pave over their farm land?

I think every new development that is built should have a mandatory amount of land set aside within it to provide food for the people in that development. There should be a designated farmer for every few blocks of housing. Until we get it through our heads that farmland isn't there just to create a pleasant view, we're going to continue to imperil our food supply.

They argue that people need housing close to their places of employment. Believe me, commuting four hours a day isn't my dream either, and yes, I am aware I'm living in a suburb built on farmland forty-five years ago. People then were just as unenlightened as they are now, and if I'd been around then I would have protested the development of this area too. Surely we don't need to continue the stupidity of the past. We can come up with other solutions. What's wrong with the idea of moving some of the future business and employment out of the city? Instead of seeing how many houses we can fit on the head of a pin, why not spread out the concentration over a broader area, onto the Shield, so developments -- if they must happen -- don't endanger the land and water. Balance humans with the environment so we don't destroy it. We have the space here in Canada, but we're not using it wisely. It's too late for what destruction has already been done, but it isn't too late for the future. We need a broader vision, forward thinking. Some kind of solution. I don't know what it is, but I know it isn't this - continuing with more of the same narrow, destructive thinking.

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