2016 OLA AGM and Public Meeting by Shirley Dolan

Shirley Dolan
Shirley Dolan

Tom Black, President of the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA), remarked that he always wonders if the AGM for the current year will live up to the ones in years past. Held at the Admiral Inn in Lindsay on October 22, over 40 people attended the AGM and over 100 people sat in on the public meeting in the afternoon, so yes, we matched or bettered previous meetings.

The attraction of course for many people is that we get to hear great speakers like Elizabeth Marshall (our Director of Research), Len Harris (former Senator from Queensland, Australia), Jeff Bogaerts, and Tom Black who all encourage us to know our rights and to stand up for our individual freedoms. And the best part is being in a room with a hundred or so other landowners, all with stories to share on how they are fighting back to preserve our private property rights.


John Robson was our keynote speaker and he gave us an interesting and thought-provoking overview of our right to bear arms in Canada from the time Britain was ruled by Rome (because of course our laws come from England) down to today. Professor Robson’s documentary on the subject will soon be available. http://www.arighttoarms.com

The 2016-2017 OLA Executive was announced by Tom Black, who returns as President with Jeff Bogaerts as Vice-President and governors, Donna Burns, Bob Weirmeir, Karl Von Bloedau, Duaine McKinley, and Stefanos Karatopis. Tom thanked Mark Tijssen, who stepped down as governor, for his contributions as governor over the past year. The OLA is in good hands.

OLA awards were presented as follows:

agm-2016-awardsThis year, Jeff Bogaerts and Elizabeth Marshall were awarded the Wayne Gyde Award. Elizabeth Marshall, OLA Director of Research represented OLA at the Environmental Land Tribunal on wind turbines https://ontariolandowners.ca/news/environmental-land-tribunal-collingwood. Her research was key in the OLA’s pushback on Bill 100, the Trails Act. Jeff is the OLA VP, President of the Lanark Landowners Association, and has recently received his paralegal license. He has been working with clients on property rights cases, using Ms. Marshall’s research. https://www.algonquinacademy.com/aboutaca/blog?path=/aboutaca/blog&node=jeff-bogaerts-paralegal-grad-rocks#jeff-bogaerts-paralegal-grad-rocks

Stefanos Karatopis won Landowner of the Year for his property rights work in the Niagara Region. He has achieved many successful outcomes, including for his parents in 2009. A tireless worker for property rights, he is also studying to become a paralegal.

Donna Burns accepted the award for Best Landowner Group of the Year on behalf of the Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke Landowners Association of which she is President. Donna and her group were key in educating the residents of Renfrew County about the implications of the county’s latest Official Plan. Without their work, many would not have been aware of the effects of the OP on their property values and right to use their land.

About 70 people stayed for the dinner catered by Konstantine’s Restaurant. The good conversation continued into the night with a great exchange of ideas for better protecting our property rights.