Mayor needs to remember that farming is a business
Re: Business parks plan takes shape in Amaranth (The Banner, May 1, 2014)
As an Amaranth resident, I (and many other Amaranth residents) object to the corporate driven greed of both Mayor Don MacIver and Peter Staff of Optrust to build a business park in Amaranth over arable farmland.
Their sales pitch is the same: more jobs, less taxes. Translation: more strip malls paying minimum wages, and one corporation’s larger profit margin from exploiting cheap land.
That Mayor MacIver is buddying up to yet another corporation (recall the multi-million dollar plan to use our landfill for Toronto Pan-Am garbage) is very concerning.
Notice Mayor MacIver did not detail the tax benefits nor the environmental costs of all the industrial steel and concrete infrastructure needed, surely upsetting the natural water system and wildlife, at the very least.
Why is the effect on the aquifers and water supply not a worry now when it was during Orangeville’s original expansion 5 to 10 years ago? Or during the recent stop the quarry fight?
Why is Peter Staff’s pronouncement,“It isn’t going to be farmland in the long-term,” accepted as gospel, instead of the corporate land grab that it truly is? What stores could they possibly build that aren’t already in Orangeville or surrounding towns? Why isn’t the mayor concentrating on resources to make it easier for farmers to farm full-time?
With the effects of climate change increasing, more local food resources and farmers’ markets should be created, not destroyed. As Joni Mitchell reminds us, to pave over paradise to put up parking lots, strip malls and industrial warehouses is to amputate the hand that feeds you.