Saturday, May 17, 2014
That Don't Impress Me Much
residents disconnected with the farming community
Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, Chilliwack
An open letter to Chilliwack City Hall
leaders and planners et al.
I heard this news you sent to me on the CBC News today also. It does not
Let's compare ourselves with what we were a few years ago, not
with other countries. The problems and the real truth are as follows:
Going by car to
those distant places takes time, pollutes the air and costs money
that we lack. You allowed first Cottonwood and then Vedder and then
Eagle Landing to become predominant.
I suppose people
living near those centres want to be able to buy what they need
nearby too, but why not make sure we have adequate services right
here too? Good that at last buses on one route at last run every 20
minutes, but we still have to walk when we get off the bus, so a
shopping trip takes half a day.
We are also
appalled by other deteriorating services, such as:
1. Safeway and Save on Foods give only token loyalty to Canadian
grown fruits and vegetables.
2. We lack a farmers' market near city centre, within walking
distance. There could be a cluster of privately owned outlets under
one roof or shelter, refrigerated and open 12 months of the year.
3. Cost of many items of food has jumped 25%, not just the 1 or 2%
annual cost of living reported. I think the Supermarkets are an
American monopoly. Please pester Jimmy Pattison to do something to
bring down prices. They are not low enough and locally grown enough
for me to afford to go by bus and foot to Supervalu either.
4. Oasis have been forced to stock only items donated to them. They
used to be allowed donations of funds to buy marked down items. Now
they rarely have any fresh fruit and vegetables, or even day old
bread. It is hardly worthwhile to go there any more.
5. In the large stores organically grown fruits and vegetables are
featured, but at prices I and most people cannot afford. I would
trust the purity of locally grown more than that of imported
organically grown. It is next to impossible for farmers to keep out
pollution 100%. Bees and birds carry faulty GMO pollen to them. They
get harassed by the Genetically Modified and Pesticide people.
They shouldn't have to coat apples and cucumbers, etc with wax or
6. Why isn't there a collective marketing system? Could many farmers
perhaps be subsidized to market their produce in a refrigerated city
centre location? They need a boost to make a living and keep their
sons and daughters on the farm. They like rural life when they can
be prosperous on the farm. Can young people afford to inherit farms?
7. 4 H clubs have lost their original focus on having fun, pride and
a good income growing food.
8. Instead of growing fruit and vegetables ALR is misused to produce
hedges and shrubs for nurseries. There was no system to get fruit
and vegetables sold so it rotted in the fields.
I'd like Five Corners for year round Farmers' Markets. Not everyone
will walk so parking space is needed. Okanagan and Princeton trucks
should be encouraged too. SKT Farms Market is nice but not within
walking distance of city centre, and short of parking space. There
should be shops owned by others around it to. It should be moved to
Five Corners. Yes they do have a growing number of high rises around
them, but let's not encourage yet another shopping centre. Aren't
four areas enough already? (Five Corners, Cottonwood, Eagle Landing
and Vedder) - too many I'd say.
It was a mistake to build shops along Young Street. They have been
largely standing empty. However a revitalized Five Corners could
also give a boost to Young street.
About the Myrtle Macdonald
She is has a M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing
Research and Education), McGill University.
She is a retired
registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local
chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. Myrtle was a street
nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned
92 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.
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