19 Oct Letter to Ian Paton – Oct 18, 2020
October 18, 2020
Ian Paton, MLA, Delta South
4805 Delta St, Delta, BC V4K 2T7
Dear Ian Paton, MLA:
Thank you for your comments on the Richmond FarmWatch Facebook page.
Richmond Farmwatch supports Bill 52, which took effect in February 2019, because this legislation protects farmland by:
- restricting the removal of soil and increasing penalties for dumping of construction waste and harmful fill on ALR land and
- limiting the size of primary residences to 500 square meters (5,400 square feet), while also providing for additional residences if they are for farm use.
Richmond FarmWatch also supports the NDP Agricultural Minister’s Intentions Paper regarding residential flexibility and secondary dwellings not conditional to farm use.
Our understanding is that the BC Liberals voted against Bill 52 and introduced Bill M207 to repeal it. Bill 207 died on the order paper.
Since then, BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson has promised to repeal Bill 52 if elected.
It was this information we used to formulate the statement on the Facebook page.
However, in your post in response, you state, “We have said many times that we will NOT remove caps on house sizes on farmland when we form government. Bill 52 needs to be replaced.”
There have been individual comments during this election campaign from some Liberal MLA candidates stating that house size caps will not be removed. However, campaign words are not policy. The amendment you and your party proposed during the passing of Bill 52 included removing the 500m² cap and replacing it with a 350m² house footprint—which after three stories would result in houses of 1050 square meters (11,300 square feet).
We are respectfully writing to ask you to arrange for a statement from Andrew Wilkinson clearly stating that, If elected, the BC Liberals will not alter the current limit on the size of primary residences on ALR farmland, which is 500 square meters. If this statement is forthcoming, we will acknowledge it on our Facebook page and withdraw our previous statement
In any case, please reply to this letter.
Laura Gillanders, coordinator and spokesperson