Richmond Review

Protest continues on Finn Road

A protest over a farm fill project on Finn Road is now entering its fourth week, despite city council's push for greater regulation.

"We're here 24 hours a day, and we're here to stay. I'm not sure how long we'll be here, but we're going to keep going ahead," said Ray Galawan, a retired farmer leading the protest outside 9360 Finn Rd.

At issue is an under-construction farm road, which is being built with demolition waste such as recycled concrete. The Agricultural Land Commission ordered a temporary stop on the project, but Galawan insists the project's proponent hasn't done enough to satisfy the commission's requirements.

On Jan. 28 city council gave third reading to a bylaw change requiring a permit for soil removal and fill projects on Agricultural Land Reserve property—even if it's for an approved farm practice. Richmond's current bylaw only regulates soil for non-farm uses. City hall is now asking for the province, which holds jurisdiction, to approve the change.

Protesters are preparing to take their fight to the provincial government to protect fertile farmland.

Said Galawan: "Hopefully, hopefully we'll be able to get this stopped, somehow someway as we move up the ladder."

Protesters initially blockaded the farm's driveway but—since being told by police to move—have been set up alongside the road

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