Commercial Lien Workshop at the Holiday Inn Kanata by Shirley Dolan

Shirley Dolan
Shirley Dolan

What started out as a full day conference on Property Rights morphed into a half day workshop on Commercial Liens. The conference, organized by the Carleton Landowners Association (CLA), had to be cancelled due to low registration. In true Landowner fashion, Tom Black, President of the OLA and a few of the county presidents got together to organize a shorter, more focused meeting. The CLA happily turned over the already rented hall at the Holiday Inn in Kanata for the event.

The Commercial Lien Workshop was led by former Australian Senator for Queensland, Australia, Len Harris. Mr. Harris had spent the last two weeks travelling to various locations in the Province and providing an overview of an interesting method of dealing with unwelcome behaviour. The method, called a Commercial Lien, has been used successfully in Australia to place a claim on a person or corporation that you believe has wronged you. This resulted in a widespread interest in more detail on the subject and so with a room and Mr. Harris available, the workshop was born.

lien-workshopAbout 45 people showed up to participate in the workshop, which was really more of a presentation with questions and comments from the audience. One of the important points made by Mr. Harris is that the person placing the commercial lien must be absolutely sure to do it correctly or unintended, negative results might occur.

There were two other presentations: Dave Hemingway from Huron-Perth described the research he has done on construction liens that have been placed on properties hosting wind turbine installations and what these mean for the property owner; Shawn Carmichael from Leeds-Grenville walked the audience through the small claims court application process.

This workshop was certainly not for everyone and was at times very technical but to those that have been experiencing the loss of property rights through government over-regulation and over-enthusiastic bylaw officers and quasi-governmental agents, the subject was very informative and welcome. Participants travelled from as far away as Niagara Falls and Saugeen Shores in the hopes of getting a better understanding of the commercial liens.