LETTER: We can still change the valley
I live in Chilliwack which has Mount Cheam and other glorious mountain views, but there is so much smog that we can hardly see them, because the air is being seriously polluted by long-distance mega-monster trucks.
And, road maintenance and widening costs are escalating. All this is unnecessary.
Our farmers and ALR are ruined also because they have no local marketing facilities. They have to grow hedges and shrubs to make a living. Fraser Vale frozen vegetables and fruits used to be a thriving industry but when Pillsbury bought it they closed it down. I was living in Montreal at the time and even bought that lovely frozen food there.
Chilliwack was the cherry capital. Now there are no cherry trees and no strawberry and few raspberry fields. My dad retired here from Alberta and grew the best peaches I ever ate. Chilliwack had a kiwi field, but without marketing help, the fruit lay there to rot.
We could have gloriously beautiful mountains and orchards if you put money into farmers’ markets. That is step number one. The next step could be to stop the trucks from ruining our roads and air, bringing food unnecessarily from California and Mexico. It is hard and tasteless.
You could put money into a network of light railways. Listen to Mayor Diane Watts of Surrey and download and read the Leewood Proposal (85 pages, all realistic). We had passenger trains four times a day for 40 years until the 1950s when people started to buy the new toy—family cars. Gas was cheap then. The RR track is still in excellent condition carrying heavy freight, and B.C. has the right of way.
Refrigerated farmers’ markets could be made out of railway container cars. Each one could serve one location one day a week. Any fruit or vegetables not sold that day could be sold in the other nearby locations, or preserved or frozen and sold all year round, in the usual sites and exported.
Please people listen to me. What I am saying is vital and practical. Wake up!
Pass this on to all influential and ordinary people. My network is small. You can expand it.