You are here

A Question of Balance

Accession number: 


Actors and Participants:


Production Years: 
Film Properties: 
Length (minutes): 
Holding Institutions: 

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario: 16mm.
"The increase in technological expertise in agriculture in Canada represents a substantial decrease in food cost for the consumer. In 1976 Canada had the world's lowest food prices. Canada can, moreover, produce abundantly, provided that prime agricultural land is preserved. Demands among housing, industry, recreation and agriculture must be balanced if the objectives of Canadian agriculture are to be met. Farming is a complex economic structure, an industry whose prime commodity is land. However, prime foodland is getting scarce, and such land use must be planned, according to Professor Sally Lerner. Prime land is very attractive for other uses, such as highways and power lines, but it must be preserved for food. Because of these conflicts and a continued lack of planning, much prime land is going out of production. Farmers are also in competition with rural dwelling urbanites who live in the country 'for the view.' Southern Ontario, with its ideal climate, contains half of Canada's class-one agricultural land. However, it is also the hub of Canadian industry, and industrial and urban sprawl are destroying much of this prime agricultural land. Garbage dumping on prime land completely destroys the land—it cannot even be reused in the future. Highway construction destroys valuable land, and creates spinoff effects such as those seen in the Niagara peninsula when the QEW was built. Increased costs make farming a near impossible venture for young people wishing to own and run a farm. Oxford County is a thriving farming commmunity. The dairy industry here runs from championship stock, and reaps the benefits of advanced technology, as well. The film concludes with a summary of its main points: land use must be planned; priority for prime land must be given for agriculture, or must be convertible in the future back to agriculture; proper planning can balance all demands for land."