Former ALC boss expected at this year’s Paddle for the Peace

The ousted chair of BC’s Agricultural Land Commission will be in attendance at this year’s Paddle for the Peace.

Organizers confirm Richard Bullock has accepted an invitation to take part in the event, in its 10th year, set to launch from the confluence of the Peace and Halfway rivers Sat., July 11.

“We’re hoping to finally save the valley from another flooding,” said Ruth Ann Darnall, chair of the Peace Valley Environmental Association, which has organized the annual event alongside the West Moberly and Halfway River First Nations.

“The paddle has always been a celebration of the river. We hope we can celebrate the river for another 10 years and carry on in the future.”

Bullock was chair of the Agricultural Land Commission for five years when he was abruptly fired in May, just months before his contract was set to expire.

Bullock had been a vocal opponent of shifting BC government policies surrounding the agricultural land reserve and farm land uses. He has also stated in interviews his displeasure against the Site C dam and another flooding of the Peace River valley.

“Flooding that river valley is probably a sin against humanity,” he said in an interview with CBC last month. “It’s a bloody shame.”

It’s not the first time the event has attracted high profile names. In 2012, environmentalist David Suzuki took part in the event.

People have come from across Canada and the world to take part in the event, including Europe, said Darnall. The event will continue to be open to all, she said, whether they oppose or support the dam, or are indifferent to the matter.

“We hope people will just come out and… spend a lovely day on the river,” said Darnall.

The Paddle will start at 9 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Halfway River Bridge, located halfway between Hudson’s Hope and Fort St. John on Highway 29. Boats will launch at noon. Registration is $10.