Minister Pat Pimm should resign for meddling in farmland hearing, says group

Minister Pat Pimm should resign for meddling in farmland hearing, says group


Minister Pat Pimm should resign for meddling in farmland hearing, says group

Public interest group IntegrityBC is calling for the resignation of Liberal Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm, following the revelation that he and Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman meddled in an Agricultural Land Commission hearing into removing a piece of farmland from the ALR.

The Globe and Mail’s Mark Hume reported on Saturday that Peace River North MLA Pimm was rebuked by the Commission for advocating for an application which it ultimately rejected in August. In the same ruling, the Commission criticized Pimm and Ackerman’s political interference in the arm’s-length review process. Said the ALC:

[quote]In our respectful view, those representations were not appropriate. They could create the impression for both the Commission and the public that these officials were attempting to politically influence the Commission.[/quote]

Pimm weighed in on an application by Terry McLeod to build a rodeo ground and campsite atop “high agricultural value” Class 2 soils on his 70.66-hectare farm.

The revelation of Pimm’s interference comes on the heels of another recent story by Hume, which unleashed a wave of controversy over a leaked Liberal memo in which Pat Pimm calls for the gutting of the ALC’s powers to clear the way for oil and gas development.

In a press release on the lastest controversy related to Pimm, Integrity BC calls for the Minister’s resignation, pointing to a similar incident which forced federal Conservative Minister John Duncan to step down from Cabinet earlier this year. Duncan was found to have intervened in a Tax Court hearing on behalf of a constituent in 2011.

“This is politics 101,” says IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis.

[quote]Ministers don’t interfere in the work of judicial or quasi-judicial tribunals and – if they do – they resign.[/quote]

Travis told the Georgia Straight today that he’s “flabbergasted” the NDP Opposition hasn’t yet echoed his call for the Minister’s resignation.

IntegrityBC has also launched an online petition calling for the Liberal Government to halt the gutting of the ALR contemplated in Pimm’s recently-leaked memo. The petition has garnered over a thousand signatures in just a few days.

Farmland has become a fertile topic of discussion this past week in BC, with Delta Council’s approval of the controversial Southlands development in Tsawwassen and the announcement of public hearings into the proposed Site C Dam – which would flood 60,000 acres of forest and farmland in Pimm’s northeast BC riding.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

9 thoughts on “Minister Pat Pimm should resign for meddling in farmland hearing, says group

  1. I support Pat Pimm and don’t think he should resign. We need good representatives like Pat in the North. I didn’t see Adrian Dix resign when he and the NDP interfered and overruled the Agricultural Land Commission decision when 1000 acres of prime land was taken out of the Six Mile Ranch for the luxury residential and golf Tobiano Resort. If the South needs the Agricultural Land Commission that is fine but release us from our bondage from the ALC so the North can move forward.

    1. Again, Mary, two wrongs don’t make a right. Ministers shouldn’t meddle in the work of arm’s-reach public regulators – especially while they’re working to gut the regulator’s powers.

      You may like Pat as your MLA (knowing the region and him a little myself, I find that hard to rationalize, but perhaps that’s just me 😉 – that said, he should not be agriculture minister under these circumstances.

  2. Every few years MLAs get together and give themselves an improved compensation package. Each time this is justified by said MLAs because “you’ve got to pay if you want quality people”. Where are these quality people?

  3. I support Terry McLeod’s application as FSJ has a huge need for an equestrian center like Dawson Creek’s Lakota Centre. It doesn’t surprise me that local politicians would get on board as we need local govt’s support in order to have the changes “needed” to make this a reality for our community

    1. I think the big issue here is one of process and government interference with what is supposed to be – and can only function properly as – an arm’s reach public regulator.

      The merits of the application are mostly beside the point.

  4. He’s Poster Boy BC politician. Overweight, overfed and under-educated….with absolutely no moral standards. If we can get him to resign that’s one down. Hopefully Rich Coleman will be next. Clark is too much to hope for!

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