BC Liberals should apologize for disparaging comments about berry farmers, says NDP’s Brar

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Victoria: Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Jagrup Brar is calling on BC Liberal Agriculture Critic Ian Paton to apologize for suggesting blueberry farmers are not agriculture experts.

The comments came as Agriculture Minister Lana Popham hosted a livestream on the impact of COVID-19 on BC’s food supply. One of her guests was Parm Bains of Westberry Farms, who explained how the berry industry was handling the pandemic.

During the event, BC Liberal Agriculture Critic Ian Paton commented on Facebook that “during this time of stress, turmoil and a need for action and answers in BC Agriculture… they bring in a Blueberry farmer and a chef as their guest experts.”

“Mr. Paton has shown that he does not appreciate the expertise and value of our province’s berry farmers,” said Brar. “They are a critical part of our economy and their expertise is just as important as other types of farmers.”

Brar says that BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson should tell Paton to apologize.

“Andrew Wilkinson chose Ian Paton as his agriculture critic, and he needs to be accountable for that,” said Brar. “Mr. Paton needs to apologize immediately.”