Agricultural Land Commission CEO fired by BC Liberal govt
Read this May 14 story by the Richmond Review on the BC Liberal government’s decision to fire Agricultural Land Commission CEO Richard Bullock after he pushed back on the province’s erosion farmland protections.
The B.C. government has fired Agricultural Land Commission board chair and CEO Richard Bullock, and will pay out his five-year contract until it ends in November, Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said Thursday.
Bullock will be replaced effective immediately by long-time Saanich mayor Frank Leonard, who was voted out after nearly 20 years in last fall’s civic elections.
Letnick said with new regulations taking effect to manage the Agricultural Land Reserve with two zones, it was time to make a change and let Leonard and the board choose a new CEO.
The B.C. government has been at odds with Bullock since early in his five-year term, when he stopped appointing commissioners to six regional panels around the province.
The opposition New Democrats say the move is another example of the Liberals attacking B.C. farmland.
“Richard Bullock has been an effective advocate for the protection of farmland in British Columbia. Instead of thanking him, the Liberals are showing him the door before the end of his term,” said New Democrat agriculture spokesperson Lana Popham. “By firing him the B.C. Liberals are continuing their war on B.C.’s agricultural land.”
Popham noted that Bullock fought back against B.C. Liberal MLA and former Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm when he tried to interfere in an application before the commission, which took courage and conviction.
“Bullock is a true champion for agriculture, who is respected by all sectors of the agriculture industry for his expertise and fair-mindedness,” Popham said. “This is a critical time for B.C. agriculture, as the Liberals prepare to release new regulations stemming from Bill 24, which weakened farmland protections on 90 per cent of ALR land. By replacing B.C.’s agricultural watch dog with someone with no background in agriculture, the B.C. Liberals are making it clear that their attack on the ALR has only just begun.”