Nelson – Wednesday in Victoria MLA Michelle Mungall continued to stand up against the Liberal Government’s unpopular Bill 24 that would break up the ALR. Mungall took the concerns of Kootenay residents and farmers opposed to the bill directly to the Minister of Agriculture and proposed an amendment to the bill that would mean that the BC public would be fully consulted in a transparent manner.
Mungall referenced the hundreds of emails she has received and the thousands of names on petitions from across the province in support of the ALR as need for government to undertake a comprehensive consultation process before making any changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve.
“Bill 24 was not developed in a transparent way, the Liberal government made no effort to consult the public before proposing to destroy something as important as the ALR” said Mungall “The motion I put forward would allow the people of BC to have input into the future of the province’s food security and sustainability.”
Calls for transparent consultation before any changes to the ALR have come from the BC Agricultural Council, local government associations, food sustainability groups, and farmers from all across the province. Despite this, Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick indicated on Wednesday the government was not likely to support Mungall’s motion to have a transparent public consultation.
“Every day I hear from more and more people in Nelson-Creston who are outraged that the government would even think about breaking up the ALR” said Mungall. “The government has a responsibility to listen to the people of this province, they have a responsibility to consult with farmers, to consult with the people of the Kootenays, and to consult with people who eat. To force Bill 24 through without doing so would be reckless and irresponsible.”
“Sky-high poverty rates are directly tied to B.C. Liberal policies such as the child support clawback that takes money from B.C.’s poorest children. The government could begin reducing poverty immediately by allowing children of single parents receiving income assistance to keep their child support,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan.
Faith in Action, a multi-faith organization devoted to addressing the root causes of poverty in B.C. supports this approach.
“Government policies can ease poverty or make it worse,” said Peggy Wilmot of Faith in Action. “That’s why Faith in Action supports a poverty reduction plan for British Columbia as the first step towards a government that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of all citizens.”
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