When a young Conservative cabinet minister, Jean Charest, phoned a judge in the early 1990s, he was bounced out of cabinet.
After Pat Pimm tried to influence a quasi-judicial tribunal—the Agricultural Land Commission—Premier Christy Clark promoted him to minister of agriculture.
Yes folks, B.C. is once again the banana republic of Canada.
Pimm, who's shaping up to be the Harry Bloy of this B.C. Liberal government, later told CKNW Radio that he didn't see a problem contacting the commission. After all, it's his job to help a constituent get property removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve for rodeo grounds when there are other suitable sites in the area.
It's reminiscent of the old Socred days when cabinet ministers sometimes acted like they could do whatever they please.
Here are five curiosities about the newest scandal plaguing the Clark government:
• The premier seems to think that by keeping Pimm as agriculture minister, the scandal will blow over. In fact, it's making some of us in the media more curious about Pimm, ensuring he'll get more coverage.
• The B.C. NDP has not called for Pimm's resignation. Is it because the Opposition doesn't want a more intelligent minister appointed to handle this file? I would have found his dodgy response to agriculture critic Nicholas Simons's question about human-induced climate change hiliarious were Pimm not the minister overseeing food security.
• Speaking of food security, the Greens claim to be all about this, but the party's lone MLA, Andrew Weaver, has been silent about the controversy involving Pimm. This has left independent MLA Vicki Huntington as a more forceful critic on this issue.
• Pimm wanted Class 2 farmland converted into a rodeo for the people of Fort St. John. Where are all those animal-rights activists at PETA and the Vancouver Humane Society who despise rodeos? Why aren't they up in arms about more potential cruelty to animals?
• Who's taking bets on how long Richard Bullock will remain as chair of the Agricultural Land Commission in the wake of this scandal? Clark exacts revenge with a smile, so it's hard to see how he can survive after the commission detailed how Pimm's intervention on behalf of a constituent contradicted ALC policy.