HELP SAVE THE UBC FARM! Join the TREK!
April 7, 2009-- Great Farm Trek starts at 3:30pm at UBC Student Union Building, 6138 Student Union Boulevard. Free Parking at UBC Farm and free shuttles to event from there, 6182 South Campus Road. Music, food, speakers, fun! For more info: www.amsubc.ca
UBC Farm is the last piece of working farmland in Vancouver. It is an important site not only for growing food, but also for academic research to improve sustainable food production practices. The University Administration, however, wants to build private residential neighberhoods over the farm to make profit. I want to save the farm.
-->The Student Environment Centre (SEC) and Friends of the UBC Farm (FOF) are thrilled to be hosting a conference at the end of September entitled “Food is Fundamental”. The conference is being held to educate, discuss and take action on pressing “food issues” that concern people, the environment and the economy in both local and global contexts.
(And yes, some of it I copied from my SPUD letter. Is that a crime?)
Dear Honorable Members of the Legislative Assembly,
In the wake of last week's tragic bus crash in Abbotsford, I am writing to encourage you to help ensure the safety and fair treatment of those who work on BC farms. For me, the crash highlighted the unfair working conditions for these British Columbians, and the need for more direct oversight of the agriculture industry. I urge you to protect these vulnerable workers by providing such oversight.
I was pleased to see the government announce spot checks for vehicles transporting farm workers. Now, I would like to see this government go farther, by re-instating the inter-agency teams that ensure regulations are followed on the job as well as on the road. I would also welcome changes to the Employment Standards Act to grant agricultural workers the same rights as other British Columbians, including an hourly minimum wage.
I recognize that agriculture is a very competitive industry and that some BC farms are struggling to survive. However, survival should not come at the expense of worker rights or safety. As a consumer of BC produce, I would be willing to pay a premium for the assurance that food was harvested fairly, much like many consumers who pay more for "Fair Trade' or "organic" products. I would like to see BC's agriculture industry become a leader in ethical business practices.
Thank you for your attention to this. I am confident that you share my concerns for British Columbians health and safety and I look forward to your response.
Like most people in Vancouver, I was shocked and saddenned by the fatal bus crash that killed 3 farm workers last week. So, I wrote to SPUD, who deliver my organic produce box, asking them to help. You can read my letter below, and feel free to write or talk to your grocery store if you share my concerns.