Thursday, May 22, 2014

Confidential letter from ALC Chair has public steaming

Dear Saanich South,

Thank you for all the emails about Bill 24. I've received over 150 emails (and counting) on the topic. So far only 2 have been pro, all the rest have been against Bill 24. There is no doubt in my mind that the changes proposed by the BC Liberal government to the Agricultural Land Commission will harm farming, farmers and food security in BC.

In my opinion, the confidential letter referenced below completely invalidates the BC Government's attempt to turn Bill 24 into law. I call on Premier Clark and Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick to pull this Bill from the Order table and begin an open and transparent consultation process before attempting any further changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The government intends to put Bill 24 up for a final vote in less than a week. With your help I believe it can be stopped.



Confidential Letter from ALC Chair exposes hypocrisy of BC Liberal’s plan to ram through Bill 24

May 22, 2014
Today I am releasing a confidential letter from the Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission to the Deputy Ministry of Agriculture, dated December 23, 2013. This letter is a detailed response by the ALC Chair to proposals made by the BC Liberal government during the highly-secretive Core Review process.
This document, never seen publicly before today and sent anonymously to me last week, exposes the utter hypocrisy of the BC Liberals.
In eleven scathing pages, the ALC Chair Richard Bullock rips apart the BC Liberal plan that is now known as Bill 24.
Example 1.
The BC Liberals claim Bill 24 is to help farmers. However, Bullock states on page 7:
Example 2
The BC Liberals claim that land in “Zone 2” is of lower value as farmland then in “Zone 1”.
However, on page 8 Bullock states:
In addition, Bullock points out:
Example 3.
The BC Liberals dishonestly claim to have consulted. However, Bullock states:
This letter proves that the BC Liberal government introduced Bill 24 without meaningfully consulting with the most senior and knowledgeable person available. Mr. Bullock was appointed by the BC Liberals themselves, and has won widespread praise for his work as Chair. To exclude him from genuine consultations and to completely disregard the advice he gave is shocking and outrageous.
Furthermore, I know from  my own consultations that none of the groups he mentioned above were consulted before the Bill was introduced  and none of them have endorsed the Bill since.
The complete letter from the ALC Chair can be viewed here. An article published today about this letter by Andrew McLeod of the Tyee is available here.

Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South