Since the announcement in April regarding proposed legislation for a new governance structure at UBC, many supporters of the UBC Farm have been alarmed by the possible implications of “Bill 20” for securing the 24-hectare UBC Farm. Richmond’s Garden City Lands blog published a post last weekend titled, “UBC Farm – new threat or new respect?” The post highlights some of the recent media buzz regarding the UBC Farm and Bill 20, including a statement from the Farmland Defence League. In response, the UBC President’s Office has continued to assure the public that the South Campus Academic Plan, which outlines a 5-year guiding vision for the farm, remains a key part of the university’s sustainability aspirations. The Georgia Straight also drew attention to the issue in two articles published on May 13. This media coverage represents a fraction of the questions we’ve been getting and makes one thing quite clear: people care deeply about the farm and its future.
At meetings with UBC administration last autumn, we were told that the UBC Farm’s land designation would finally be changed from “Future Housing Reserve” to “UBC Farm” by the spring. To date, the land designation remains unchanged. We will be working diligently over the next few months to ensure this needed change happens and the UBC Farm is finally secure.
In a nutshell, we are uncertain about precisely how the UBC Farm will be affected by the proposed legislation and are going to be querying UBC administration and representatives from the province. We will keep you in the loop on this blog. In the meantime, it may be useful for farm supporters to ask their own questions to UBC administration and representatives of the province so that they know the issue continues to be of concern (please see sample letter and contact info in link below).
Thank you for your continued support and vigilance. On a lighter note, we hope to see you at the UBC Farm over the coming months, and watch for us at various community events throughout the summer!