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Published on Mar 3, 2011
"Saving the Southlands" tells the story of the 30-year battle to protect a 500-acre parcel of prime farmland in Tsawwassen from proposed housing development - set against the backdrop of an emerging food security crisis in BC. The film features a number of Tsawwassen residents, Richmond City Councillor and ALR co-founder Harold Steves, agrologist Arzeena Hamir, and also profiles several local community farming success stories. Funded entirely by local citizens, a number of whom were also involved in the production, its release comes in the midst of a landmark public hearing after which council will vote on whether to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission to return the Southlands to the ALR. The property was removed 30 years ago under questionable evidence, but has remained protected by its municipal agricultural zoning thus far. Owner Century Group has been ramping up its efforts over the past year to get that changed. Now inclusion in the ALR could finally bring this saga to a close, opening the door to other potential models, such as a land trust with urban farming and nature conservancy components, favoured by many int he community.