Landowners Association of New Brunswick by Shirley Dolan

On September 15th, a group of about 100 people attended an historic meeting in Sussex, New Brunswick. This was the inaugural meeting of the New Brunswick Landowners Association. On hand to assist the group to get started were MPP Jack MacLaren, his wife Janet, and Elizabeth (Liz) Marshall, Director of Research for the OLA.

Craig Morrison House
Joan Seeley, Liz and Jack at Craig Morrison’s house that he built at the age of 90 years.

The meeting was organized by Joan Seely and LeRoy Armstrong. There is a growing dissatisfaction with traditional political parties in New Brunswick. Joan is a retired teacher and former Vice President of the Progressive Conservative Riding of Saint John Fundy. She lives on land that has been owned by her family for over five generations. LeRoy Armstrong is a former Liberal member of the New Brunswick legislature who believes the province needs a change from the former Liberal and Conservative governments. Both Seely and Armstrong ran as candidates for the People’s Alliance in New Brunswick’s September 22 election. As in Ontario, the Liberal Party was successful in winning a majority so we can expect to see the same type of ‘green’ policies and regulations being strengthened and introduced in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Landowners Association
From left: Janet Vander Laan, Glenn Neal, Joan Seeley, Ted Ross, John Goodfellow, Vern O’Dell, Jack at the founding meeting of the New Brunswick Landowners Association in Sussex

Early this year, a request was received from Joan Seely for information on how to push back on the types of regulations and bylaws that the OLA has been struggling against for many years. Information was provided and a decision was made to travel to New Brunswick to share first-hand how Ontario Landowners deal with property rights issues.

Jack MacLaren spoke about the history of the Ontario Landowners, about Agenda 21, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, and global warming. Liz Marshall emphasized that property rights are embedded in our constitution and are supported by British common law and legislation dating back a far as the Magna Charta.

Following the meeting, Jack, Janet, and Liz were treated to a tour of the Bay of Fundy by Joan Seely. The tour included a visit to Craig Morrison’s home. Morrison, you may recall, is the gentleman that went to war over his right to build a house without interference from building inspectors. Both Morrison and his wife Irene have passed on and the house is empty. It stands as a tribute to a man who even in his nineties stood up for his rights and won.

The following day, LeRoy Armstrong took over the job of tour guide travelling the rural roads. Armstrong, described as a walking history book, painted a fascinating picture of the changing landscape of rural New Brunswick.