FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Current Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm is having trouble understanding why the Speaker of the House wouldn’t let him thank his non-partisan Peace Country constituents after he tabled a report.
“I introduced the report to the House. You have to get ‘Leave of the House’ to introduce a report because it is not a document done by ‘control of government’ per se. Most committees are put together by government and then they go out and do a report. This wasn’t a committee of government, this was a committee of my Peace Country constituents.”
Pimm says the group had actual ‘terms of reference’ but it wasn’t a government committee. The committee was put together back in May of 2016. He says they have been meeting regularly since then.
“We found a lot of things. So what I did, the committee wanted me to try to release the report to the legislature, which I got Leave and you have to get Leave from the house. That means that if anybody has objection to the report being put on the floor, they say ‘nay’ and your report can’t move forward.”
Pimm received approval to put the report on the floor but then he ran into the issue which he calls ‘undemocratic’.
“I wanted to spend a couple of minutes and thank my committee for all the hard work they have done and for the information that they gathered and kind of identify a few things that were in the report, just to give the members of the House the opportunity to see what was in the report but the Speaker didn’t allow me to do that, even though the House gave me, basically gave me approval, the Speaker deemed that was out of line and wouldn’t let it go forward.”
He says no explanation was given as to why he couldn’t thank the people he wanted to thank and share details of the report.
“They didn’t say why at all. The Speaker is the person that recognizes people in the legislature and allows them to speak or not and I stood up three times after she told me that we weren’t going to have any discussion about the report and she wouldn’t recognize me anymore. I thought it was a little undemocratic. It seemed to me that a couple of minutes to recognize my constituents and the hard work they did wouldn’t be out of line, especially when the rest of the members (of the house) didn’t have objection to that so I was a little taken back by that.”
The report that Pimm is referring to is a report that identifies parcels of land that have been set aside by Government that could possibly be involved in future Government discussions with First Nations.
There are 9 Ridings in the Province, including the two Peace Country ridings that make up 80 percent of the 1.5 million acres of land currently under NOI in the Province. These 9 Ridings are: Peace River North and Peace River South (over 20 percent of the total with nearly 400,000 acres of land currently in First Nations discussions), Stikine, Skeena, Caribou – North, Caribou-Chilcotin, Fraser-Nicola, Chilliwack-Hope and Vancouver – Sea to Sky.
You can view the whole report at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d9d99615d5db41c387e54b/t/58c0495a15d5db7d6b995925/1488996717849/MLA+Pat+Pimm+Stakeholders+and+Advisory+Committee+Report+%28Web+Quality%29.pdf.