A Country Built on The Spirit of Freedom!

Message from Tom Black, OLA President

Hello Folks,

Have you ever wondered how a country built on the spirit of freedom could have ever gone down the path of a government controlled state in such a short time? Where and when did it all start? How did “property rights” suddenly get pushed aside to be replaced with “for the public good”?

Well it seems that many of the acts and resolutions that so affect the private citizen with property, especially rural property, were brought forward in the 1990’s. Now that would be the Bob Rae days we are talking about. The list is very long and many of these acts seem to deal primarily with the control of land and water, private land and water. Since 87% of the land mass of Ontario is Crown land or public land and only 13% is privately held, you’d think that they would have enough to do to look after the property they have jurisdiction over, without trying to control private property. A few of these acts listed below were either created or revised by the Rae government.

A sampling of these are:

1. The Conservation Authority Act,
2. The Drainage Act,
3. The Environmental Assessment Act,
4. The Environmental Protection Act,
5. The Expropriations Act,
6. The Forestry Act,
7. Land Titles Act,
8. Niagara Escarpment Planning and Developments Act,
9. The Planning Act,
10. The Trees Act,
11. The Ontario Water Resources Act, and
12. The Line Fences Act.

All of these do impose or have the potential to impose, heavy restrictions on the use of private property. Then, in 1993 he created the “Registration and Farm Organizations Act” that basically made the Farm Organizations subservient to the government thereby reducing their power to lobby for their members.

To accomplish all this government control, Mr. Rae had to hire scads of new bureaucrats to create, promote and enforce these acts. Now once a government bureaucrat is hired, he is virtually never fired, therefore if you hire a fanatical environmentalist in 1990, then he is probably still working in the government in 2013, only now he is the boss of his section and has hired dozens more fanatical environmentalists to help him achieve his goals.

If we had a government modeled after the United States, we would change the heads of these departments every time we change governing parties, thus breaking the cycle to some extent. Here in Canada however, we tend to be stuck with the bureaucracy of the former government thus continuing that mindset. When the Harris Tories came into power, after Rae, they were promoting smaller government and as such, didn’t hire a lot more bureaucrats. By so doing, they didn’t change the direction of many of the deeply entrenched environmentalists. When the McGuinty Government came to power, they were almost more socialist than the Rae NDP’s and instead of rolling back a little like the Tories had done, they actually put more teeth into already bad laws, leaving the landowners wondering what hit them.

To counter this barrage of state control the landowners started to push back, forming the Ontario Landowners Association to come to the aid of people, who had nowhere to turn for help. If the Hudak Tories are to have an effect on re-establishing the freedom that we once had, they will need to move away from the centralist party that they have become. They will have to establish themselves as an alternative to the left wing and centralists that we already have. They must re-establish the faith and expectations of regular citizens and let them take on some of the responsibility for how they live their lives instead of the social engineering of all the peons to think and act the same, completely squandering the brilliant inventiveness of free souls.