A Most Excellent Meeting in Cobden by Shirley Dolan

I attended a meeting in Cobden on February 20th hosted by the Renfrew Nipissing Landowners Association. It was an excellent meeting.

President Donna Burns explained to the crowd of over 50 that she would introduce four speakers, each of which would represent our past, our present, or our future.

The Present: Most of us have heard or experienced the stories of government officials trespassing on our property and laying fines and charges that to many of us seem absurd. Many of us know of the invasive regulations which are imposed on us which result in expropriation without compensation. Last night’s meeting highlighted these experiences and the woes that we face when we try to defend our rights in court. Jeff Bogaerts, OLA Vice President and President of the Lanark Landowners expressed his frustration with the judicial system, illustrating with the story of the landscaper in Northern Ontario who was charged with operating a quarry without an aggregates license, when he reused some unwanted boulders from a farmer’s field. The next speaker, Jeff Muzzi, an environmentalist, walked us through the Species at Risk Act and the restrictions this can put on a farming or logging operation. Mr. Muzzi suggested that some species on the list such as the bobolink and the meadowlark are endangered because of threats in their winter habitat and we, in their summer habitat, are paying the price.

How do we fight back?

The Past: John Robson started his presentation by describing the rights which come from the Magna Carta. He revealed that those rights were not new and that throughout British history, the people have risen up over and over again to insist that we are protected from the tyranny of government. He described many instances where limits have been put on the King and that the people have insisted on a return to their law, i.e. common law. Robson and his wife Brigitte Pellerin are seeking funds to make a documentary on the Magna Carta which would encapsulate this story and more. You can find out more about the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robson-pellerin/magna-carta-our-shared-legacy-of-liberty. It’s all or nothing – the goal of $75,000 must be met by March 16th for this project to go forward.

And this brings us to the future: As many of you know, Tom Black and many of the landowners are supporting Patrick Brown in his bid for leader of the Ontario PC Party. At the meeting last night, Tom speculated that Mr. Brown may be our last hope of bringing change to Ontario. We don’t seem to be getting much traction trying to work with the current provincial government, with municipalities, or through court challenges. The cutoff for purchasing a membership was February 28th. We hope you purchased one and will join us in voting in your riding on May 3rd or May 7th. Results will be announced on May 9th. You can see more details on the leadership campaign, see https://www.ontariopc.com