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Mungall takes run at Liberal Cabinet Minister Bill Bennett

Contributor
By Contributor
April 6th, 2014

For the third time this week MLA Michelle Mungall took a Liberal Cabinet Minister to task in question period about government decisions that are hurting people in the Kootenays. 

Her target Thursday morning was Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett.
               
Last week when Bennett was discussing the government’s legislation that would break apart the provinces Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) he was quoted saying, “I get a kick out of the hundred-mile diet except, where I live, you’d have to eat hay.”
 
As the representative for the Creston Valley Mungall took exception to that comment and used question period as an opportunity to give Minister Bennett a lesson in geography and agriculture. Mungall reminded him that he had been to Creston “so he should know that there is much more than hay growing within 50 miles of his house. There are apples, cherries, strawberries, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, peas, pork, poultry, beef, wheat, barley, oats. They all grow on prime agricultural ALR land.”
 
Mungall went on to quote Nadine Harris a farmer from the Creston Valley who said “the ALR must be kept intact to ensure the viability of her family’s business,” and asked the Minister who he consulted when drafting the legislation that would break up the ALR.
 
Minister Bennett acknowledged that Mungall was correct about what grew in the area, but did not address the question of who was consulted in the preparation of the legislation and re-affirmed his support for dividing the ALR.
 
“Not only is Minister Bennett belittling the importance of agriculture in the Kootenay’s, his government is pushing through legislation that will destroy the livelihood of hardworking and innovative Kootenay farmers,” said Mungall.

“While he is standing with a government who is only looking out for themselves, I will be standing up with farmers working to save the ALR.”

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