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Develop Delta farmland, but with some conditions

Editor: There seem to be some controversy about the sales of 558 acres of farmland in South Delta. Well, like it or not, we live in the developed world.


There seem to be some controversy about the sales of 558 acres of farmland in South Delta.

Well, like it or not, we live in the developed world. Our economy, standards of living, indeed capitalism itself, is dependent on the need for expansion and continued growth ... And that means development.

The 558 acres in contention happen to surround lands owned by the Tsawwassen First Nation. They are also adjacent to the port.

Although they have been classified as farmland, and have been farmed for several decades, the acres in question are little more than salted, sandy clay.

People who farmed that land had to insert vast quantities of wood chip, saw dust, fertilizers and lime. They had to plough in whole crops and crop residuals in order to build in some semblance of a growth medium; all that, before they could sow hay, vegetables and plant berries.

All this artificial soil building comes with unwanted residuals that may be ignored by the varieties being farmed, but nevertheless absorbed by the plants and passed to the consumers.

Far from being organic, the food produced on these 558 acres has low, to very low nutritional value. It may be all fluffy and hardy because of the water retention afforded by the fertilizer; but it is devoid of the complex organic compounds craved by the human body.

So, yes, the 558 acres in contention are suitable for development, and developed they should be... but let us instill some prerequisites in the process.

First, the $98 million or so collected from the sale of, or exercise of options on, the acreage, shall be re-invested in the development at a rate of 80 per cent. The remaining 20 per cent can go to the sellers, who will double their money, since the sale value is roughly 10 times the price of purchase.

Now if you are going to develop, then develop.

There shall be ground level facilities with multiple roads, trains and elevated tracks for the rapid and efficient displacement of containers, crates, boxes, bins, and pallets of goods being imported, exported or simply contained while waiting for transit. There shall be packaging, containers repair and manufacturing, trucks and trains service bays; there shall be huge ship chandlers' facilities. All of these shall be housed in hangars 14 metres high.

The hangars shall have sufficient columns to support a ceiling hard enough to hold all sorts of suspended tools, tracks, lights, fans and robotic arms.

The roof shall be sturdy enough to support the construction of housing and a full range of amenities.

There shall be stores, shops and offices; a library, a cyber school, technical institute and an athletic center.

There shall be green houses with south facing slopes. The slopes underbellies can serve to rotate and compost soil, process and package the produces being harvested.

There shall be solar, wind and geo-thermal power plants built in the development.

Finally the development shall be run like a co-op. The costs of its taxes, operations and salaries shall be fixed according to percentages.

Philippe Rousset