Please write to protect the Central Experimental Farm

Please write to protect the Central Experimental Farm
Posted on March 15, 2016 | Erwin Dreessen | Written on March 15, 2016
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The federal government is now reconsidering the Harper government's announcement that 60 acres of the Central Experimental Farm would be given to The Ottawa Hospital for a new facility.  Below are some suggestions on what you could tell federal Ministers. Please write now!

Dear Supporter of the Central Experimental Farm,

Thank you for your expression of support for the Central Experimental Farm. The Coalition feels we are at a critical juncture with respect to the choice of site of the Hospital. 

Now is the time to contact the decision-makers in the federal and provincial governments, since undoubtedly the Hospital will end up on federal land in Central Ottawa. 

Therefore, we are asking you to convey your support for the survival intact of the CEF as an internationally significant agricultural research station and national historic site. 

We ask you to write to any one of, or all, of the following: the Rt. Hon Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada;  Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change; Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Mélanie Joly, Minister [ED:] of Canadian heritage, responsible for the National Capital Commission; and Yasir Naqvi, MPP, Ottawa Centre. 

The following points could be raised in this letter, as you think fit:

  • Scientific research on the farm studies the impact of climate change on agriculture. Farm scientists are working with partners around the globe to contribute to the world’s understanding of climate change on agriculture and to develop strategies to manage change more effectively. Now more than ever, we need this research.
  • Research here includes studies and monitoring programs underway to improve crop varieties, measure changes in crop yields, improve soil conditions, address crop pests and diseases, and increase Canada’s food security and contributes to Canada's economy. 
  • Moving the research to another site would put the research clock back to zero and disrupt or displace other important studies. It would also costs millions of dollars and result in the loss of decades of public research. 
  • There is no legislative protection for national historic sites. Canada is the only G7 country with no such protection for its national heritage. 
  • Public consultation/information sessions conducted by the Ottawa Hospital concerning federal lands seems an abdication by the federal government of its responsibility as a steward of lands held in trust by Canadian taxpayers.
  • The research conducted at the Farm contributes significantly to the economic well-being of Canada's agricultural sector.
  • No federal department has launched a Strategic Environmental Assessment of this proposal, as they are required by Cabinet Directive to do. Due process has not been followed.

Addressees: and 

We are told that actual mail, on paper, gets more attention than email. Note that mail may be sent postage-free to any Member of Parliament. 

For the Parliament Hill office of all federal MPs, including the Prime Minister, the address is:

(Addressee's name)

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A6

The community address for Yasser Naqvi is:

109 Catherine Street
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0P4

If you would like to personalize letters to individual elected representatives, may we suggest the following:

McKenna: as the MP who has the lead for Ottawa, request that you direct TOH towards a site that is not on the CEF at all, and that TOH engage with partners to build a 21st century hospital that is a model of modern urban integration, and not a sprawling, suburban-style one. Win-Win is possible, but only between partners who are willing to compromise.

Naqvi: agricultural sector in Ontario owes a great deal to the researches carried out on the CEF. National Farmers' Union and many other farming associations support the retention of the CEF intact. Good Things Grow in Ontario for a reason. 

Joly: the delegation of public information sessions on the transfer of federal lands to the Ottawa Hospital is puzzling. Why would the federal government abdicate its responsibility to speak on behalf of lands owned by the taxpayers of Canada?

MacAulay: the silence of Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada is very worrying. Surely AAFC should be central to these discussions.

Please forward this email to anyone whom you think might be willing to participate in this campaign.

Thank you

The Coalition to Protect the Central Experimental Farm

About The Author

Erwin Dreessen's picture

Retired economist (Ph.D., Berkeley, 1972) Co-founder (1997) and former chair of the Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital.  Wrote an annotated bibliography on what sustainability means for businesses (2009) --... More