Is this how ALC will be run from now on?

I found recent comments by an Agricultural Land Commission staff person regarding the recent North Lougheed Connector decision offensive

Editor, The News:

Re: Call for N. Lougheed review (The News, Sept. 6).

I found recent comments by an Agricultural Land Commission staff person regarding the recent North Lougheed Connector decision to be offensive.

A citizen has taken the initiative to request a review of the decision by the ALC to allow development of the connector and attendant mall.

But instead of her request being handled in a respectful manner, it was brushed off by a commission staff member.

A request for consideration can be accepted if “evidence not available at the time of the original decision has become available,” and that is precisely the case here.

A City of Pitt Meadows staff member, who was intimately involved in the handling of this issue at Pitt Meadows city hall, is related to one of the landowners who stands to benefit financially from the removal of his property from the ALR. This information was not available to the public at any time during the years that this process has been taking place.

Under provincial conflict-of-interest legislation, not only is an actual conflict an issue, but the appearance of conflict can also be problematic.  It’s certainly arguable that there is an appearance of conflict in this case.

Instead of giving the citizen the respect she deserves for exercising her legal rights, the ALC staff person makes a public pronouncement that her reconsideration “won’t get very far.” How unprofessional. How about considering her request within the confines of the ALC, then submitting a respectful response to her request?

There is a lot off concern these days about government intentions with regard to the future of the ALR. I would hope that this ALC response doesn’t indicate the way business is going to be conducted at the ALC from now on.

Michael Sather

former MLA Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows