Three New Democrat constituency associations will be setting a cat among the pigeons at this weekend's provincial council meeting. In this case, the cat is an emergency resolution requesting party leader Carole James "and the BC NDP Official Opposition Caucus hold a free vote in the BC Legislature on the issue of the Tsawwassen Treaty." Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows legislator Michael Sather was recently temporarily suspended from caucus "as a result of his decision to vote against the Tsawwassen Treaty when it comes to the Legislature this fall for a ratification vote." Ms. James has said the treaty will not be the subject of a free vote. Not surprisingly, Mr. Sather's constituency association is among those sponsoring the resolution. The following is a complete copy of that document.
EMERGENCY RESOLUTION REQUESTING A FREE VOTE
Submitted by: Abbotsford-Clayburn
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows
Standing Committee on Agriculture (SCOA)
WHEREAS the BC NDP has a long history of supporting and valuing First Nations treaty negotiations;
AND WHEREAS the BC NDP, as the founding Party of the Agricultural Land Reserve, values agriculture and those who farm those lands;
AND WHEREAS the BC NDP holds these two values as core values within the Party;
AND WHEREAS the Tsawwassen First Nations ratified the Tsawwassen First Nations Agreement ("Tsawwassen Treaty") negotiated with the BC Liberal and Federal Conservative Governments on July 25, 2007;
AND WHEREAS the Tsawwassen Treaty calls for the removal of 511 acres from the Agricultural Land Reserve for a use other than farming (a shipping container parking lot);
AND WHEREAS the Tsawwassen Treaty has brought the BC NDP to a difficult divergence of values;
AND WHEREAS support for treaty negotiations and agriculture are of equal importance to members of the New Democrat Party of British Columbia;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the BC NDP Provincial Council requests that the Leader of the Provincial NDP and the BC NDP Official Opposition Caucus hold a free vote in the BC Legislature on the issue of the Tsawwassen Treaty.