Canadian Property Rights Legal Services By Suzanne Atkinson

This article first appeared in the Ontario Beef Magazine and is reprinted with the kind permission of the author and the magazine.

The plan to create a legal services company, to serve as the “legal arm of the Ontario Landowners Association,” is going ahead as the organization pushes an agenda to “convert talk into action.”

Canadian Property Rights Legal Services will be run by OLA member Jeff Bogearts.

President Tom Black made the announcement at the annual meeting in October 2016in Lindsay, Ontario.

Bogarts said the last three leaders of the provincial Conservative party have admired the work of the OLA, but told him that the guys “need to lose the red suspenders and start wearing suits.”

Bogarts explained, that like national defense there are a variety of systems including court, politics and public opinion, in which to work.

“We need to have a concentrated effort in all these areas.”

So he said the OLA “needs you. Some of you need to step up and get elected at the municipal level. Some of you need to step up and get elected at provincial and federal.” He called for members to get on boards of directors “of people who want to run for office. So you can influence policy.

“We have to get more involved in that way to make a difference.”

“Sitting in this room is one thing,” Bogearts said, explaining that if members don’t convert that into action “we’re going nowhere.”

“Yes. We shut down highways. Yes we put hay bales in front of parliament buildings. Yes, we did all kinds of stuff. Now we have to do something more.”

The legal services business he said “is a starting point.” From there the OLA will get into the courts.” And from there move to other provinces.

“These rights and privileges belong to all of us across Canada,” Bogearts said, adding that the organization needs “to get the rest of the country involved. But it has to start somewhere.

“It starts here; starting today and that’s why we’re making the announcement.”

He asked for people to put money in to a legal defense and litigation fund which he hopes one day will earn tax receipts.
Bogearts said he would like to come back in two years to the association’s annual meeting to announce that the business was a professional corporation serving all of Canada with a staff of lawyers, paralegals and especially research people.

Currently though he said the business has five paralegals who have committed to being a part of this organization and who will take on “conservation authorities, bylaw enforcement; anything that challenges property rights.”

Bogearts added that the association will build on the work of OLA member Liz Marshall who has worked tirelessly almost since the organization’s inception to provide legal support for property rights cases.

“That will always be first and foremost in our go forward defence,” Bogearts said to a round of applause. Her work he said is worth “tens of thousands of dollars and for us not to use that in the court system does not make any sense.”

The business he said is going to take her research material and convert it into the type of evidence to be presented in court.
Bogearts said “we are going to be going out there looking for every resource we can get our hands on to fight for the rights that we already have! It’s not like we’re going out there to get something new. We’re not. We’re telling the government “we already have these rights. We want them back and we want you to get off our backs.”