Five curiosities about the Pat Pimm scandal

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.

Comments (15) Add New Comment
Gypsy
Hi Charlie Lana Popham has called for Pimm's resignation, give her a ring.
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SPY vs SPY
BC is like a Giant Monopoly Game with the Provincial government holding all the Real Estate Cards.

In BC Politics handing out Land Titles and Removing land from the Agricultural Reserve is the Very Stuff of BC's Under the Table - Backroom Politics.

This has gone on since the days of Wacky Bennett!!!

This is just the Beginning of the "Giant-Shit-Storm" that will sit over BC until the next election. It makes me mad all over again at what the BC NDP failed to do in the last election.
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Bruce
Weaver's silence is doubly odd given the stated reason for weakening the ALR is to allow for Christy's high-emissions natural gas development.
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northislandgal
the dread just overcomes me This is the end...
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Xtina
Yikes! Our provincial "Minister of Undeveloped Land" is off to a bad start. Maybe this situation would get the public attention it deserves if our provincially elected members of the legislature were actually sitting.
I wonder how many people know that the parking lot area behind the legislature in Victoria is up for sale?
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Peter Fricker
The Vancouver Humane Society is appalled that good farmland may be wasted on a spectacle of animal cruelty. We will be responding accordingly.
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SPY vs SPY
CBC news is reporting that the Rodeo Grounds are already partially built. The land has been cleared and leveled - I can't wait to hear what kind of Bullshit excuse Premier Clark will have that allows this project to proceed and why a Stop-Work order was never issued.

There is other land available in the area for a Rodeo Grounds, only someone else owns it. This is a Personal Profit issue - not a Rodeo Grounds issue.
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Queequeg
Xtina, are you really upset that a mostly private parking lot is for sale? Less parking means more public transit. That should be a good thing!

Also, what's wrong with a local MLA lobbying on behalf of his constituents? Isn't that what MLA's are supposed to do? Where the problem comes in is that he should have stopped as soon as he was named Agriculture Minister. But if you follow the story, most of the lobbying came from before he was appointed.

All the ALR does is tie farmers to their land, and make it so that they have no option but to keep farming. Often they barely make enough money to make ends meet. Socred, NDP and BC Liberal governments have done a poor job of holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to the ALR. If you are going to force someone to use their land in a certain way that is unsustainable, you need to support them in other ways. The entire ALC/ALR is out of date. It doesn't work, we need to re-examine how we do things to make them work.
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SPY vs SPY
Ah Queequeg -

BC's Lower Mainland has the absolutely the Most Highly Productive Farmland in all of Canada. In some places the top-soil is 3 feet deep - one meter deep and the best climate in Canada for Farming.

By removing BC and Canada's farmland from Farming we create a need to import more and more of our food. Importing food is another way of saying our money leaves the country - we become dependent on foreign countries and more and more fuel ( CO2 Pollution )is created to transport the food to market.

It was Billy Van der Zalm who decided that Golf Courses and Churches could be built on Farmland. Why - to buy votes - that's why. Rodeo Grounds on farmland - to buy votes!!!!

All those green houses you see in the Greater Vancouver area are a farce. 10 inches of cement are poured over the Topsoil, only chemicals are used to grow the food and Foreign Guest Workers are hired to work there.

Foreign Guest workers =

Pain Minimum Wages

Send as much money as they can out of the country

Get BC Health Care that ends up costing BC Citizens

Old Socreds and BC Bogus Liberals own the Land.
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Bruce
@Queequeg

"ties farmers to their land" is a lie. The ALR restricts land use, no different than any other zoning.

They are free to sell the land, but the purposes of the land are limited, and that may suppress the price to a level that only reflects its value as farmland.

The only thing the ALR limits is speculative and development profits.

I would also note that the current pressure *is not* coming from farmers themselves, it's coming from the petro sector.

An MLA or Minister should no more lobby a quasi-judicial panel than they should lobby a judge. These boundaries are important, they maintain rule of law and equality before the law, and prevent corruption. Doing so should result in an immediate resignation.
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Xtina
Dall garnit I'm angry because:
a) my elected members of the legislature are still getting paid and they're not even present and accountable, and b) because Premier Palin is hastily selling government land--before the end of December--that we may just need as the legislature inevitably expands.
The ALR was created by leaders who had real foresight and vision .
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Andrew Weaver
Hello Charlie, Adam Olsen is the person from our party who works on the agricultural file. You can see our parties latest contribution here:

http://adamolsen.ca/2013/11/14/media-release-bc-green-party-writes-an-op...

In addition, I am working on trying to save the Class 1 agricultural land in the Peace Valley (via energy file which I cover).

See here:

http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2013/10/17/wind-power-site-dam-cents/

Vicki Huntington and I talk often too. But we are also critics of every file...I support her work on the agriculture file.

So lack of my voice in debate is simply because Adam is the BCGP voice on this. Give him a call and he would be delighted to discuss our position with you.
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Mary Miller
Have you forgotten that 1000 acres of prime agricultural land was taken out of the Six Mile Ranch for the luxury Tobiano Golf Course and houses? Mr. Dix and the NDP interfered with the ALC decision and overturned it, saying it was in the provincial interest. In the North Peace only 160 acres are being asked to be removed. It isn't going to be covered with cement and it can be reclaimed when we are all starving. I support Pat Pimm's involvement with this project. It is time to remove the ALR and the ALC from the North if we are to be the scape goats for the removal of land from the South.
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SPY vs SPY
Stupidist Comment of the Yea AWARD

from Mary Miller - The Rodeo Grounds - Grandstands and all - can be removed when we all start starving from lack of farmland / food.
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Thomas Loo
@Spy vs Spy @ Mary Miller
So what you're saying is that you want to see it all gone for good? Where will your food come from after the Fracking has contaminated the ground water, devastated the arable lands and screwed up the air you breath? Do you want to eat foods grown in China (considering the UN just released a report that their soil may be contaminated by the heavy metals relating to the industrial activities near their farms - and probably the same that is already happening up in the Peace)

Not to mention, Mr. Rodeo's absolute defiance of the ALC Act - in other words, I don't agree with the law, so I'm not going to obey it?? Our politicians need to step back and not back people who defy our laws. Pimm should be canned! And any other Politician that supports his behaviour.
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