DELTA (May 27, 2019) – Delta South MLA Ian Paton has introduced a private member’s bill that aims to protect Brunswick Point farmland and bird habitat from any future economic development.
“Brunswick Point is an incredibly special piece of land that borders the ocean and the Fraser River, with beautiful walking trails,” says Paton, who also serves as the BC Liberal Co-Critic for Agriculture. “This farmland also boasts exceptional Class 1 soil that grows B.C.’s very best potatoes— but most importantly, this area is world-renowned as a resting stop for migrating birds.”
The history of Brunswick Point has been a long and painful one for several Delta farm families. In 1968, 4,000 acres of prime farmland was expropriated to build a coal terminal at Deltaport and a railway line.
Many years later, after realizing this expropriated land was not necessarily needed as part of the port expansion, the government offered to sell most of these farms back to their original owners. However just over 600 acres of Brunswick Point farmland was held back by the Crown and not sold back to the original owners, but offered back to the farm families through short-term leases.
“It is vitally important that these precious 600 acres of farmland continue to be held by the Crown, be kept for agriculture and wildlife habitat in perpetuity, and be offered back to local farmers with long-term leases,” says Paton. “It’s my hope the NDP will call this bill for debate so we can resolve this painful history and protect this unique place for generations to come.”