Where did we come from?

Well, to understand how this movement got started, we would have to say that if government and their agencies had been doing their job of helping people solve their problems, supporting and encouraging new building and local businesses, and serving the public as they are paid to do, then the landowner movement would have died on the drawing board.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and because of this failure at all levels of government; the landowner movement is growing across Ontario. Our early start was in 2003 in Lanark, when disgruntled landowners received no assistance from authorities when deer destroyed their crops. Their frustration spread across the province and resulted in new landowner groups forming, all fighting similar issues, all suffering under the increasingly heavy weight of oppressive rules and regulations, fines and court challenges and all ready to say, “enough is enough”. We hope that you will join this chorus for change with the goal of encouraging a more compassionate and caring government that returns to its mandate of “serving the public”.

The Ontario Landowners Association OLA has chapters across the province, each with its own President, Vice-President, treasurer and secretary as well as many volunteers and supporters. Flexibility is a necessary quality in these people because most of us have other jobs, many are farmers, and all of us have busy family lives. Because we are volunteers, we all do what we can, when we can. Each group has an Annual General Meeting (AGM) where they discuss their issues and hear from their members. The Ontario Landowners Association OLA has a President, Tom Black, a vice-president, Jeff Bogaerts and a board of governors, who keep in touch with monthly conference calls and meetings. The OLA Annual General Meeting is a public meeting and open to all who are concerned with private property rights. The AGM is held in a central location each Fall and often involves an overnight stay for those who have travelled some distance. Each Spring, there is a Directors’ Meeting, an opportunity for the chapter representatives to meet face-to-face with the OLA Executive to discuss local issues and share experiences.

Our focus comes from property owners and their stories of injustices. From these issues we have four dominant organizations that we deal the most with. Conservation Authorities have assumed too much power over private land. We are working on taking back what is ours. The OSPCA has moved from a focus on abused or neglected animals to deciding what might be a problem for your dogs such as tartar on their teeth, burrs in their fur, or a messy house. Animal lovers are having their animals removed when there is no abuse or neglect. The MNR is another body that likes to assume power over private property and we are trying to assist landowners who have been charged for doing what they should be doing on their land such as cleaning ditches or improving the landscape. Finally, the municipalities across the province have forgotten the rights that were granted to the citizens of this province: the right to life, liberty and use and enjoyment of property. They have assumed power they don’t have and seem bent on discouraging landowners from obtaining building permits or doing work on their property. Hefty fines, unreasonable demands and an unwillingness to work with the property owner for a mutually beneficial outcome, has soured many citizens. As the Midland Free Press noted in its May 2000 article regarding the Roundtree and Tiny Township court battle over beach usage “If you don’t own it, you cannot plan for it”.

We encourage you to follow us along the path to regaining the freedom we once had and in doing so, honour the fallen soldiers who died in battlefields far away, so that Canada would remain strong and free. Let us not forget tha