I am horrified at the latest legislative pillaging to be conducted by the governing BC Liberals: that of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The Agricultural Land Reserve was founded for the purpose of providing a land base for future food security for the province of British Columbia. This far-sighted legislation has long been admired all over the world as a bold means of ensuring that we will be able to feed ourselves in an uncertain future.
To now suggest that 89% of this land (the portion that will no longer be protected, under the new legislation) should be opened for development by oil and gas interests is shocking. Bill 24 represents an abdication from responsibility for the people’s legacy by this government.
But this cavalier disposal of legacy should come as no surprise to any of us, as the same pack of vandals has been only too willing to open BC’s parks to oil and gas exploration in Bill 4. Before we know it, this province will be the Louisiana of the north, criss-crossed with abandoned pipelines left in place due to legislation that permits them to be. You may scoff at such a suggestion now, but would you have believed any government would expose BC’s ALR and park legacies to oil and gas exploration before last week’s events in the House?
I hear through the grapevine that my MLA, John Martin, came in 10th in pork and 7th in ribs at this past weekend’s BBQ festival at Heritage Park. Congratulations, Mr. Martin. Now do tell me, please: where has your passion for the ALR gone? Pigs need to graze before they hit the “Q”, you know.
During the 2012 by-election (as a candidate for the BC Conservative Party), John Martin made no secret of his admiration for the ALR, saying in a media release only two days prior to Election Day:
“I’m worried that under the Liberals the ALR has become a play thing for developers and well-connected special interests.”
These words seem quasi-prophetic, don’t they? But now that Mr. Martin is a member of the Liberal caucus, He is silent (save for those occasions on which he has a BBQ competition to publicize). Why doesn’t he pipe up and let us all know that when he said he was worried about the ALR being “a play thing for developers and….special interests”, he wasn’t just blowing some cherry-flavoured smoke from his ever-in-service BBQ? We could really benefit from such words from his advantageous position on the Liberal back benches right about now.
John Martin is my MLA. I am asking that he stand up for the future of this province and its food security and break ranks with his caucus on this destructive legislation.