VICTORIA – During the election campaign the B.C. Liberals promised to protect agricultural land, but now they are doing just the opposite, say the New Democrats.
“Before the election, Country Life in B.C. magazine asked the Liberals specifically if they would protect agricultural land from development. They said ‘yes’ at the time, and now they’re saying ‘no,’” said New Democrat agricultural critic Nicholas Simons.
In the magazine, the Liberals promised to “work more closely with farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations to preserve agricultural land and encourage farming,” and “maintain the excellent relationship we have built with the ALC.”
“Less than a year later, the government is pushing through legislation that does the exact opposite. Bill 24 removes protections for 90 per cent of ALR land, opening it up for development,” said Simons.
“And clearly their promise to work closely with the people who produce food in this province was an empty one. They failed to even consult with them before bringing in this destructive bill.”
Simons noted the Liberals’ about-face is reminiscent of their broken promise not to implement the HST.
“Before the 2009 election, they told British Columbians they had no intention of bringing in the HST. After the election, they brought it in almost immediately, causing economic turmoil as the tax was implemented and then rescinded. British Columbians are tired of being misled by this government.”
New Democrats are calling on the government not to pass Bill 24 when debate resumes for its final week next week.
A copy of the Country Life in B.C. article is attached here.