Saturday, November 26, 2011

Babe's Honey Farm

Letter To the Editor,

The ownership of Babe’s Honey Farm has finally changed. The community of rural Saanich feels the loss of a once iconic working bee farm. Just a glimpse of this now wasteland brings sadness to many of us. Many of our Saanich community members and beyond, knew the first owners of Babe’s Honey, Charlie and Babe Warren. They have gone down in our history books as Saanich’s honey farmers. The second owner of Babes Honey farm has gone down in infamy for destroying our beloved farm in Saanich.

The demise of Babe’s honey farm leaves most of us questioning the outcome. We are in disbelief that this turn of events could not have been stopped. Many community members believe that this outcome came due to a failure at every level of Government, including Saanich.

This past week a new owner has been announced after a receivership sale. It is my understanding and my sincere hope that with new ownership comes the responsibility for remediation that would be a requirement of the Agricultural Land Commission. Full remediation means rehabilitating this land back to its original state.

This would mean the removal of approximately 60,000 cubic meters of construction fill, and more extensive soil testing. This land must be returned to its original soil classification of Class 3 or better.

It is the desire of our community to see this situation fully rectified. I am hopeful that the new owner wants the same outcome. It is my expectation that the Mayor of Saanich accepts nothing less for the community he represents. And it is my hope that the Agricultural Land Commission commits to enforcing its order to remediate.

As MLA of Saanich South and as a community member who adored Babes Honey farm, I will continue to work to see Babes Honey farm restored back to its full agricultural potential. We may have lost a part of our agricultural history, but we have the opportunity to change this story for the future.

Lana Popham

MLA Saanich South