It’s Up To Us, To Finish The Job – by Tom Black

Published June 1, 2015

A couple of years ago, the Ontario Landowners Association embarked on a mission to attempt to challenge the legality of some of the acts that are passed in Ontario. We have had many members who were unfairly (in our opinion) charged or harassed under many ill-conceived government acts that reduced their ability to prosper and enjoy their private property. After reviewing many pieces of legislation, we finally settled on the OSPCA as our first case to ask for a Judicial Review of four lines in the act, as to them being unconstitutional.

In late 2012, we hired lawyer Kurtis Andrews to start the process and walk us through the pros and the cons of this endeavor. He had talked to us on this matter before, about trying something along this line and he was very optimistic that we had a good chance of having at least some success at having the Ontario government address the failures of this act. Going forth with some confidence and an estimated cost from Kurtis, we embarked on a fundraising effort. We employed Joseph Ben-Ami of the Meighen Institute to draft and mail our request for money. The fund raising was very successful, people were very generous and we reached the goal that we thought would complete the first round of court, not including a potential appeal.

This application to the Superior Court of Ontario seemed to be very straight forward and we were asking for the court to consider the constitutionality of four particular sections of the act. The theory is that the government and the justice system are always interested in making sure that the acts that are passed are actually in compliance with the constitution. The OSPCA and the province have now become involved in the case as an intervener to try and keep us from removing their powers. It would seem to me that they (the employees) should not have a say into the making of the laws that created their jobs, but the courts have allowed them a voice, and with the help of lawyer Clayton Ruby, they have thrown up a lot of procedural road blocks in an attempt to run us out of money. Obviously we were naïve to think that we could get a fair break out of this compromised judicial system.

We will continue on with this case, and we are still fairly optimistic that we will succeed, but because of roadblocks and diversion, we will need to go back to the people to raise more funds to finish the job.

For anyone interested in following or catching up on the case, you can go to www.fixthelaw.ca.

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