November 20, 2019
Canada’s British Columbia farmers are up in arms over the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture’s intention to use satellites to monitor and regulate activities on agricultural land such as looking for additional new buildings, parking lots, added manufactured homes for example.
Other activities the government can monitor may include farmers renting parts of their property out as RV storage, campsites, paddocks, riding trails, skiing trails; anything the farmer might not have a permit for and or are outside the boundaries the Agricultural land use regulations permit.
Once it was discovered that the government intended to spy on farmers, Lana Popham, B.C. Agricultural Minister said in a hurried statement released November 18, 2019, “I’ve asked the ministry to pull back a recent Notice of Intent about using satellite imaging to complement the work of the Agricultural Land Commission. There is more work to be done before moving forward on such a project including hearing from people with concerns.”
A article published by Infotel.ca states…“The $70,000 contract involved monitoring three areas of the southern part of the province between November 2019 and February 2020 on a repeating basis. The survey would focus on man-made changes within the agricultural land reserve such as new buildings, land-fill and commercial parking within the reserve.”
The release states the surveillance was to go to MDA Systems Ltd. The MDA portfolio reads, in part “Trusted provider of ground systems, space robotics and sensors, satellite antennas and payloads, surveillance and intelligence solutions, and defence systems” [defence is providing protection or support against attack, criticism, or infection]
The Infotel article goes on to state …“The agricultural areas under scrutiny were also not going to be revealed, as a precaution against landowners who knew they were being monitored possibly behaving differently.”
A new Internet buzz-word used by some is “SMRC”, a acronym for Stalk, Monitor, Record and Control suggesting the Government of British Columbia of ‘SMRCing’ the farmers.
As of this post, none of the privacy NPO’s, nor the government privacy commissioner, or federal government could be found to have made announcements of offer to intervene on behalf of the framers, for all people.