To respond directly to those who have raised concerns that legislation moving land use control from the Metro Vancouver regional government to the Province will imperil the UBC Farm, I must be crystal clear that the opposite is in fact the case.
Having active farmland on the campus offers our region a globally unique opportunity to blend urban living with agricultural production.
In December, the university’s Board of Governor’s enthusiastically received an academic plan, Cultivating Place [http://www.landfood.ubc.ca/cultivatingplace/wordpress/?p=1], for protecting and enhancing the farm as a centerpiece of the South campus. Further, the farm is a vital part of the new UBC Sustainability Initiative, and a highly visible aspect of our campus as a living laboratory for sustainability.
Zoning restrictions proposed by Metro in October 2009 would have made innovative funding, research, and campus planning impossible for the farm, as well as other areas of campus. What the provincial legislation, Bill 20, ensures is that the university’s commitment to UBC Farm, as articulated by the Board of Governors in November 2008, will be honoured.