We have a crisis on our hands which is as large, or larger, than COVID-19, that is the war in the Ukraine. I have heard that the Ukraine is the “breadbasket” of Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. Do you think the Ukraine people will be able to plant their crops this year? I don’t think so, and many people will starve to death as a result. The other food producing countries in the world will need to step up to the “plate” and grow more food. Canada will need every inch of farmland to produce food to help, and while we bicker about “To Mask or Not To Mask”, we are losing farmland every day. As Jackie Kelly-Pemberton, director of OFA says, 175 acres a day. That is criminal!
It is being lost to urban sprawl, which could be thought out more prudently to help preserve the farmland, and it is being lost to useless four lane highways. Late last fall, I drove to Guelph and took the 418 highway to the 407 highway. It was practically empty. Why build this useless highway, which, by the way, goes through prime farmland, when there is already the 412 to connect to the 407 and the 415, which they are working on to connect to the same highway? Our tax dollars pay for all of these highways, and the number of jobs created by this, I don’t think justifies the expenditure to build and the loss of farmland.
The very same thing is happening here, developments being built on farmland, which we will need. The current Council and Mayor say that these developments were approved by the previous Council. Well, approach our MPP, Mr. Clark, and have him use his rezoning power to put that land back to Agricultural use. Yes, it is a lot to ask of him. I know the housing crisis needs to be resolved, but do you seriously think the developers will still not gouge future homeowners?
The outlandish pricing for housing came to a head, here when people were fleeing the GTA because of COVID-19 and would pay way above asking price to ensure they got a home. This was allowed to happen, so now we are caught in a vicious cycle of land use for housing, or for growing food. And, please, do not think that draining the wetlands is the answer. They are needed for the health of the environment and to replenish the aquifers.
We also need to bring back our Agriculture Colleges, so we have future farmers. Too many farmers sell their land because no one wants to take over the farm.