Metro Vancouver getting into bison business?

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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A report to Metro Vancouver says they are exploring the possibility of getting into the bison farm business

Metro Vancouver’s unelected regional government met Thursday to discuss a report on the future of the Ashcroft Ranch in BC’s interior. In 2000, they purchased it as part of a long-term plan to manage the Lower Mainland’s production of garbage. As it turns out, they never received the necessary approvals they required from the Province of BC, and the land is no longer destined to become Metro’s new garbage dump.

So what should Metro Vancouver do with their massive parcel of land estimated at approximately 4200 hectares? Well, a proposal has come before the Agriculture Committee asking Metro Vancouver to give serious consideration to becoming buffalo farmers. That’s right, the committee debated whether there was some merit in having Metro Vancouver's regional government get into the bison (buffalo is actually the incorrect term) business.

Ashcroft Ranch coordinator Dawn Ross advised Metro Vancouver in the report:

Given the decline in the cattle market, Metro Vancouver staff will evaluate alternative livestock options such as bison to assess potential profitability and compatability with existing infrastructure.

Ross tells the Province newspaper that although she hasn’t completed her research, she doesn’t think that the bison business will actually work for the Ashcroft Ranch. She also indicates the ranch is losing about $180,000 per year.

Let me get this straight. Metro Vancouver recently announced they were going to jack up taxes by 50% in the next few years in order to help finance their operations. This is in addition to the announcement that their ill-fated water tunnel project is massively over budget and eating up precious tax dollars. And now they want us to get into the bison farming business?

I think Metro Vancouver directors should think long and hard about getting into the bison business. Regardless of cattle market conditions, perhaps the time has come for Vancouver's regional leadership to decide that with no real use for the Ashcroft Ranch besides raising cattle, they may want to liquidate this asset. It's this kind of thinking that might help to limit all those new tax increases their planning over the next 5 years. What do you think?

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Perhaps it's time to put the GVRD Directors out to pasture.

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