Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Province authorizes South Fraser road construction before land commission ruling

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Vancouver Sun

Two private land owners are going to proceed with work on the SFPR, with the Province’s encouragement and a promise to reimburse them. The SFPR cannot be built until the Agricultural Land Commission rules on the future of up to 90 hectares of land.This was part of the “Sophie’s Choice” – either Burns Bog or agricultural land had to be taken for the road to follow the south bank of the Fraser. Of course, if it really was about connecting Deltaport to Highway #1 as the proponent claimed, there was a better route. That was never considered. The SFPR is less about transport and much more about changing land use – a process that makes millions by a stroke of the pen. The cost, of course, is far more than money.

“We’ve been fighting this, knowing the fix is in from the beginning,” protested Harold Steves, a veteran Richmond farmer and city councillor who heads Metro Vancouver’s agriculture committee.

“It doesn’t say much for the land commission at all. Effectively, government is able to ignore the commission and do as it pleases.”

Well, until the spring of next year anyway.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 4, 2008 at 9:11 am

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