“He has crossed a line that every minister in this country, at the provincial and federal level when they cross, have to step aside,” Travis maintains. “It’s a very serious infraction for a minister or an MLA to try and influence the work of a judicial and quasi-judicial tribunal. There’s a price to pay, and Mr. Pimm has to pay that price.”
The trouble started for Pat Pimm last week, when the Globe and Mail reported on cabinet documents that it claimed outlined a proposal from the local MLA, to modernize the Agricultural Land Commission – the Crown agency that manages the land reserve.
However, Pimm says he does not believe he was overstepping his bounds, although he is ready to modify the way he steps in the future.
“Since the ALC sent me a letter asking me not to do that, I haven’t pursued any other matters, and certainly I won’t,” he says. “If they think I was going too far, well I guess that’s their opinion. I don’t think I was going too far, and I still don’t think I was going too far; I think I was acting as an MLA. I haven’t had the need to look at any other similar situation. I’d be very careful if I was going to go down that trail again.”
It should also be noted again that Pimm was not named Agriculture Minister until after his June communication with the ALC, and that the cabinet college and Energy Minister Bill Bennett have been quoted as saying the Globe story was based on an older, and subsequently rejected, document.
However, NDP leader Adrian Dix has now jumped into the debate calling Pimm’s actions “disturbing.”