Mennonites have fled war and persecution. Now they’re trying to get away from gentrification.

Interesting story from up north:

agriculture countryside crop cropland
Photo by Jahoo Clouseau on Pexels.com

Pushed out by large-scale farms, suburban encroachment and soaring land prices, Ontario’s Mennonite and Amish communities are making the migration from Canada’s largest province to its smallest. In PEI the land is cheap, and the province accepts their desire to live apart from mainstream Canadian society, rejecting things like government-run secular schools, voting, carrying drivers’ licences or paying insurance.

Small-scale farms in Ontario are increasingly out of reach. The province has lost 20% of its farmland in the past 40 years, much of it to a growing urban population, new residential developments, and industries such as aggregate extraction that have gobbled up huge swaths of farmland.

I don’t have anything smart to say about this, except to point out that gentrification always disrupts traditions. Sometimes, on balance, that’s actually a good thing. But oftentimes, it’s just richer people claiming what used to belong to poorer people. It can even happen to Mennonites.

Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

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