Rick Swenson, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, has released a list of demands for the proposed Farm Land Ownership review process. Rick Swenson says, “The PC Party has recently become aware of potential conflict of interest between a senior employee in the Department of Agriculture and the predecessor company involved in the CPPIB purchase. Because of this potential conflict, the PC Party is asking the Premier to ensure the future consultation process on farmland ownership be removed from the jurisdiction of the Minister of Agriculture to another ministry to ensure an unbiased consultation process.”
“This consultation process cannot be limited to an online form. This topic is too sensitive to Saskatchewan farm and ranch families. Online forms allow for the questions to be asked in such a way as the answers can be interpreted however the government wishes the decision to go. People need to have the right to speak to a fair and unbiased panel.”
The Progressive Conservative Party has created a list of demands for the review process.
- The immediate release of the government’s legal opinion on the CPPIB purchase.
- The Farm Land Security Board must be moved back to the control of the Department of Justice as this is a quasi-judicial process.
- Resource extraction exemptions must be part of this review process.
- There must be a series of public meetings in various rural locations which will provide for people and organizations to have the opportunity to have their say to the review committee.
- The structure of the Farm Land Security Board needs to be changed. The PC Party suggests removing political appointees and expanding the board to include the following:
- The Chair (position appointed by Department of Justice)
- Plus one elected member from each of the following associations:
- Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
- Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association
- Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
- Saskatchewan Realtor’s Association
- Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation
Expanding the board should guarantee every decision regarding Saskatchewan agricultural land will be made in the best interests of people who earn their living from it and the rest of our society who benefit from having this great resource in our province.