Sellng the Farm?
The news that the Federal Government (read John Baird) has, through the NCC, given 60 acres of land currently on the Central Experimental Farm to the Civic Hospital to serve as the site for an “new Civic” is just another example of the current government’s anti-science philosophy. Years of budgetary cutbacks or freezes, downsizing of scientific and support staff are now being followed by the selling off of valuable property and resources.
The experimental farm system, together with the agriculture and food research and development activities of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada have, over the years, contributed to the fact that Canadians enjoy one of the cheapest, most reliable, and safe food production and distribution systems in the world. For a government that has trumpeted its commitment to innovation as a foundation for future prosperity, this lack of support for our science sector is frustrating, and short sighted. Maybe it has been the lack of PR on the part of government scientists that has contributed to the impression that all we will be losing is a bit of farm land in the city.
The next time you pour some Canola oil on your salad, the next time you admire an Explorer series rose bush in your garden, the next time you serve frozen vegetables to your family, or enjoy a new soybean product, or hear how many people are now eating “naked oats,” know that these and many more exciting and important agriculture / food discoveries happened right here on the Central Experimental Farm.
Selling the farm you say. Selling the future I say.