Thursday, February 22, 2024

BC Government, Minister Nathan Cullen set aside controversial Land Act changes for spring session

With growing resistance being found to the path that the BC NDP government had adopted towards changing the Land Act in the province, Nathan Cullen the Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship announced Wednesday that the Government would  not be proceeding with the proposed amendments to the Land Act.

That initiative as proposed was a revision of legislation that had one singular purpose.

Though when it cane to sharing the news,  the Government's announcement from Wednesday took sone six paragraphs of political narrative and some deflection of political ownership to get to that key element of note.

In the preamble to the actual announcement of the suspension of the government's plans, the Minister notes of "some figures" who went to extremes to mislead the public on the proposed legislation.

The Minister however should take on some of the responsibility towards the failed status of the provincial initiative to partner with First Nations on land use issues in the future.

As we noted early on the in the process, the government's approach to consultation was lacking from the outset, which set the whole process up for suspicion from across British Columbia.

Introduced quietly in early January,  in effect the government was at one point holding a consultation without really telling anyone that they were being consulted and that brought on a tidal wave of attention from the Legislature media, followed up on by opposition parties and some municipal leaders.

Not mentioned in the announcement is perhaps one element of the discussion that led to the decision to abandon the project.  

That of Premier Eby likely not particularly welcoming to the idea of fighting a good old fashioned Range War in the Legislature with the Opposition in the lead up months to an election call of the fall.

Thus, the tempestuous proposal for legislation will likely be deferred until after the next vote call. 

Should the NDP form the government again come the October 19th election, they can return to moving the initiative forward, though perhaps with a bit more transparency than came with the relaunch of  this now abandoned version.

The topic made for much discussion in the Wednesday Question Period, with Mr. Cullen's contribution to the debate coming at 14:27 PM also joining on the topic were other Northwest MLA's  BC Conservative leader John Rustad and BC United's Ellis Ross.

The back away from the Legislation from Wednesday did make for some significant overview from the Legislature press corps.

BC NDP back away from Land Act, blames opposition and critics  
BC presses pause on Indigenous-related changes to the Land Act 
BC government scrapping proposed Land Act amendments
BC pauses plans to amend Land Act 
NDP hit brakes on Land Act Reconciliation Plan 
NDP retreats on Land Act, blames 'dog whistle' politics
BC scraps proposed changes to Land Act amid consultation, controversy
BC NDP backtracks on proposed amendments to Land Act ... for now

More notes from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

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