OPINION: Minister cares little for those who work the land

OPINION: Minister cares little for those who work the land

A response by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett to Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham’s letter

To the editor,

In response to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham’s letter that appeared in the Dec. 5 edition, I will refrain from her personal attacks of “falsely stoking fear” and providing “misleading information” and simply stick to the facts.

Firstly, ranchers and farmers from around the province converged on the Legislature on Oct. 28 in direct protest against Bills 15 and 52 because this new legislation is designed to severely restrict a landowner from constructing secondary residences and passing their land along to younger generations of family. It is one thing to protect farmland, but who is protecting the farmers?

Secondly, if indeed Minister Popham was not considering the use of satellites to monitor activity on land contained within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), then why was it necessary on Nov. 18 for the minister to temporarily “pull back a recent Notice of Intent about using satellite technology” and furthermore claim that “There is more work to be done before moving forward on such a project, including hearing from people with concerns” (source: Victoria Times Colonist Nov. 19, 2019).

Thirdly, if farmers and ranchers do indeed enjoy the right to earn a little bit more from their land through value-added businesses, then why is Minister Popham sending in enforcement officers to shutdown Christmas sleigh rides, beer and wine-tasting events and retail food outlets that feature product grown on-site?

If there is anyone stoking fear and providing misleading information, it would be a minister that cares little for those who work the land, and is far more concerned about state-run control of private property.

Cariboo-Chilcotin

MLA Donna Barnett

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North District RCMP confirmed that Amber Wuetz, 25, was found deceased on Oct. 31. (Photo submitted)
Prince George woman confirmed dead, foul play not suspected

Police confirm Amber Wuetz was found deceased on Oct. 31

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Donex back to normal operations after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Update: Donex Pharmacy back to normal operations

Masks are mandatory for shoppers.

Police are asking to speak with two men who were seen driving this car outside the BMO on Saturday, Nov. 21. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile RCMP investigating after woman reports being harassed outside BMO

Young Indigenous woman reports being verbally harassed by two men outside the bank.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Most Read