Class Action Suit against Agricultural Land Commission of BC

letter to the editor from Jo Middleton - Class Action Suit

To the editor;

Since the Liberal Government is refusing to correct this stark injustice, it looks like the people themselves have to do it through the Federal Court System – much the same as the HST issue in B.C., which the people rallied together against.  Have they forgotten we are still a democracy and can vote them out?

The obvious injustice is this:

The Land Commission maintains the Land Reserve and has lost no farmland since it was originally initiated.  It is noticeable that many of the wealthier businessmen especially,  throughout the province,  appear to have been able to remove a sizeable portion of No. 1, 2, and 3 farmland.   To keep their numbers up, we are told the Commission has added 1000’s of hectares of non-farmland into the reserve.

What?   Yes, it’s true.   Apparently  Pink Mountain has been recently added (70 – 75 days tops of frost-free weather; river valley might get 90-95).   Richmond (recall the ALR was created to prevent Richmonds), claimed 302 frost-free days last year.

In addition, throughout the province and particularly in the north, we have people like ourselves who have land erroneously in the reserve that cannot be farmed (we have four professional agrologists who all agree),  but the Land Commission will only allow us farm usage for it.  This means we have no use of our land at all.

I believe our Canadian Constitution  guarantees us the “right  to enjoyment of property”.

To make matters worse, only the Land Commission has the authority to rate what is farmland and what is not.   Even though they are not themselves  schooled in this field.

Our MLA, Pat Pimm, PRN, tried to get this injustice to cabinet but the Honorable Bill Bennett, Minister of Community and Rural Development, the Honorable Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture, and the Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Education, refused.

An obvious solution could go something like this:

Simply adhere to the Government Acts already in place.  That the classification of farmland belongs in the hands of the experts in the field – the Agrology Association of B.C.  who governs trained, certified agrologists, and licenses them to  “uphold and protect the public interest by providing professional support”  in agrology sciences such as  the classification of farm land (from their mission statement and Agrologists Act of B.C.).

It would be interesting to know how much Class 1, 2, and 3 land has been removed from the Reserve and how much garbage 4, 5, and 6 has been added for our future grandchildren to try to farm?  These stats are currently not in usage.

For more info or if you are in this situation, and wish to join a Class Action Suit, contact Jo 250-827-3826/midleton@pris.ca

We appreciate your unbiased newspaper as many would not print this letter.

Yours truly,

Jo Middleton

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