Association of Citizens for Summerland

Friday, December 16, 2005

New Council to Set Goals and Objectives

Dec. 16 from the Penticton Herald

Summerland Council Waits for Public Input

Summerland-----Community members will have an opportunity for input into the COUNCIL’S GOALS AND OBJECTIVES for the coming year.
Mayor David Gregory announced on Monday that councillors and municipal department heads will meet to develop the goals and objectives.
Dr. Larry Thomas, a former school district administrator, will facilitate the exercise. Thomas provides similar assistance to boards and councils throughout the province.
“Following completion of the report, it will be adopted in draft form by council and placed on the municipal website for public comment.” Gregory said.
Council will adopt the plan following input from the public.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Canadian Farm Income Report

Source: SmartGrowthBC from StatsCan2003

For the first time since 1990, families with relatively large farm operations relied on off-farm sources for more than half of their total income - joining the ranks of families with small- and medium-sized farms who have relied on off-farm income for the majority of their income for several years. Families operating Canada's largest farms are now the only ones that continue to rely on farm sources for more than half of their total income.

Families operating small farms, that is, those with revenues from $10,000 to$49,999, have consistently relied on off-farm sources for most of their total income. Between 1990 and 2003, the percentage of total income from off-farm sources ranged from 87.1% to 92.6%. Families operating medium-size farms (with revenues from $50,000 to $99,999) have also relied on off-farm sources for most of their total income.

From1990 to 2003, medium-size farms have grown increasingly reliant on off-farmincome. Off-farm income represented 66.3% of the total income of these families in 1990, but 90.0% in 2003. For families with large farm operations (annual revenues from $100,000 to$499,999), the portion of total income from off-farm sources has also grown steadily. In 1990, 37.3% of income came from off-farm sources. By 2003, 52.1% of total income came from off-farm sources.

Families with the very largest farms (with revenues of $500,000 and over) are the sole exception to the trend. The proportion of these families'annual incomes from off-farm sources has remained relatively stable, rangingbetween 25.9% and 33.5% since 1990.

In 2003, average total income of farm families operating large farms declined for the second time since the beginning of the data series in 1990. The drop occurred because the 1.8% increase in average off-farm income andthe 39.6% jump in average net program payments were not sufficient to offset the 42.0% drop in average net market income. Among the main factors behind the drop in average net market income were back-to-back droughts in 2001 and 2002, and the closure of the border to live cattle exports after the diagnosis of the bovine spongiformencephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in northern Alberta in 2003.

Once adjusted for capital cost allowance, average net market income of farm families operating large business-focused farms dropped to a deficit of $6,843. Other factors behind the drop in net market income include higher expenses for fertilizer and lime, pesticides, custom work and machine rental,machinery fuel, machinery repairs, licenses and insurance, and higher netinterest expenses.

Note: The analysis in this release pertains specifically to families operating business-focused farms. The release of these aggregate administrative data and its companion analysis are funded by Agriculture andAgri-food Canada to complement survey-based sources of farm financial income. Although administrative-based data are released later than their survey-based counterparts, these data help provide a more comprehensive picture of farm operations and provide additional annual historical insight into changes over time in farm family reliance on off-farm income.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Comment on the Agriculture Plan Wanted

While at the Agriculture Open House on Thursday the 8th, I spoke with both Keith Duhaime and Dave Whiting, consultants for this Agriculture Plan. I felt public participation and comment could be facilitated by making the large amount of information available through this blogsite, and allowing further comments to be forwarded directly by e-mail. Both gentlemen agreed that this would be beneficial to their work for the District.

So, you are welcomed and encouraged to read the following material:

Summary Poster Boards Displayed at Open House

Agricultural Plan, Full Document, Draft 4

Agricultural Plan Backgroud Report

Agricultural Plan Issues and Opportunities Report

And for a great view of Summerland's vast and varying agricultural industry, take a look at this map, Land Use by Commodity.

Your comments will be considered by the consultants and help them in preparing a final draft that represents what is important to this community. These are the issues they would like feed back on:

During the planning process, a vision was articulated for agriculture in Summerland. This vision, in turn, has guided the development of the plan. The current vision reads:

“The vision for agriculture in Summerland is that of a sustainable and environmentally sensitive agricultural industry that is a showcase for rural-urban cooperation. “

Do you support this vision? If not, how would you rewrite it?

The following broad goals have been articulated during the planning process to guide the Summerland community toward the vision, including the development of the agricultural plan. Do you support these goals as currently written?


1. An Economically Viable and Sustainable Industry
2. Harmony between Rural and Urban Residents
3. Participative Planning for Sustainable Agriculture
4. Planning for Environmentally Sensitive Agriculture

If not, how would you rewrite them?

When implemented by the District, will this strategy effectively contribute to meeting the vision and goals of the Summerland Agricultural Plan? (see summary of vision and goals below as well as panel display)

How could this strategy be improved to make it more effective in meeting the vision and goals of the plan?

Does this strategy contribute towards addressing the issues identified by the community regarding land, water, economic viability, community awareness, urban-rural conflicts, and environmental/wildlife factors? (see panel displays on issues for additional information)

Comments and Answers to these questions can be forwarded to:

Thanks for all input!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Agricultural Area Plan Open House

There will be an Open House at Council Chambers-Muncipal Hall, Thursday December 8th, from 5pm to 8pm. All members of the public are encouraged to drop in to view the latest draft of the Agricultural Plan and give their comments and input. This plan is being developed by Facet Decision Systems in consultation with the Agricultural Advisory Committee. It is roughly 65 pages long and comes with a price tag of around $55,000. This plan will be referred to or incorporated into Summerland's new Official Community Plan.

This Agricultural Plan is a very important document. Please take the time to review it. Your comments and input will be welcomed at the Open House on Thursday.

The minutes of the Agricultural Advisory Committee are also now available.

Monday, December 05, 2005

America is Thirsty.....says Macleans Article

A recent Macleans article (November 24th, 2005) discusses the water issues that are changing economies around the world. The implications for Canada and the U.S. are huge. It is clear that B.C. needs to implement ground water legislation to regulate and protect this most precious natural resource.

All across the U.S., communities are drying out. Drought has cut the flow
of the Missouri River by a third, and intensive farming in the Midwest has
substantially drained the enormous Ogallala aquifer that stretches from South
Dakota to Texas. Even in northern climates like Wisconsin and Illinois,
residents are dealing with dry wells that have failed to keep pace with soaring
demand. When the U.S. government surveyed the 50 states in 2003, more than
two-thirds said they expect to face some sort of water shortage within the next
10 years. The situation is even worse in the developing world. The United
Nations estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world population, or almost
5.5 billion people, will face chronic water shortages, and scientists expect
global warming will only make things worse. Full
Article here:

Sunday, December 04, 2005

PIB Chief's Comment on Summerland

The Penticton Western News ran an illuminating interview with Penticton Indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip this week, covering issues at all levels, including Summerland's recent boundary extension:
"PWN: You mentioned the possibility of confrontation. Can you point to one local issue that could lead to confrontation?
Phillip: Here locally, we are concerned about issues around the (RDOS) regional growth strategy. It encompasses the encroachment of so-called Crown land, which has an underlying aboriginal title and rights interest. You have a similar situation where the District of Summerland has arbitrarily extended their boundaries to encompass the proposed Summerland Hills Resort Golf Course, which represents a substantial encroachment on our aboriginal title and lands. You have the Apex ski resort contemplating doubling the boundaries of their resort. You have a proposed uranium exploration announced here on the western borders of our reserve land basis. So you can see that just here locally, there are significant examples of what you call the dichotomy that manifests itself ... and there are flashpoints like this that are more significant in the north dealing with energy development, oil and gas."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Urban Planning For Kids

In today's (Dec 1) Penticton Herald there is an interesting article on page A3 about how cities and towns play an important role in children's development.

Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard will be giving a seminar tonight at 6:30pm at the Penticton Health Centre, 740 Carmi Ave, (free admission) on how effective urban and rural planning can promote healthy child development.