Letters to the Editor

Published January 1, 2021

This month, we feature three “letters to the editor”. The first is from Nat Bugera who tells about her experience researching land patents at Library and Archives Canada, where, she discovered, some patents are available online. The second is from landowner Charles Hooker, who has handplanted 25,000 trees on his property and says that “Farmers know climate far better than sheltered city dwellers”. Many of us would agree with this statement and are tired of being ignored by municipalities and conservation authorities when it come to policy and bylaws affecting the land that we own and care for. The third letter is from Don Johnson, President of the Hamilton-Halton Landowners Association.  Says Don, “The Ford Government and minister Clark should be congratulated on the changes they have made. The changes do not result in less protection of the environment!” Thank you all for your contributions.

Nat Bugera writes about how to obtain copies of Land Patents from Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

I was doing some research for a friend and discovered that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in Ottawa has put hundreds of land patents online.  I found ours in seconds by typing in the name of the person the original patent was granted to.  I tried finding by patent number but someone in Ottawa registered that as the sales number.  There is a lack of consistency in trying to find them but at least they are becoming more available and easier to find.

The person I tried to find one for (two properties) has a file a mile thick.  It turns out the clerk in the Indian Office in Toronto accepted the settler’s payment and then issued a receipt for the money.  The settler provided the affidavits required and eventually got a land patent.  Seems the clerk stole someone else’s land patent, erased items on the page and reissued the patent to the settler.  He was caught and prosecuted when the original patent holder complained that he had not received his patent and they tracked it through the number on the patent which the dumb clerk hadn’t changed.  The documentation is in the file and it is fascinating reading. One of the government officials who pursued this case and helped with the conviction was involved in a lawsuit himself in later years as he, too, was caught stealing government money.  I found that info when I was researching my own property.  I dropped a short line to Joan Olech (Constitutional Challenge on Private Property Rights) to let her know that patent info seems to be made more available at LAC and people who couldn’t find patents might now be able to find them by themselves.

Land patent records from 1869 to 1919 are available here https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/patents-1869-1919/Pages/canadian-patents-1869-1919.aspx

Editor’s Note: It appears that patents issues before 1869 are not available online from LAC.

Charles Hooker’s response to https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-liberals-climate-plan-come-with-too-much-of-the-messianic-message?__vfz=medium%3Dconversations_top_pages

PM Trudeau triggered his first error when he adopted former PM Chretien’s acceptance of the IPCC’s “global warming” policy.  He made another error when he called CO2 a “pollution.”  Were he right, we should all stop breathing to save the planet.  But CO2 is not a pollutant, as my 25,000 hand-planted trees well know.  (I fight pollution, not the production of CO2.)

Cambridge University recently conceded that dissent is not a disease.  I dissent from the UN view that climate can be affected by humans.  You may recall that the UN’s “hockey stick” graph was proven a lie.  Once a “scientist” lies, he cannot be trusted again.  The UN’s “computer model” reports, by the way, always cautiously add that they may be wrong.
Real science studies the history of the earth’s climate and concludes that changes over time are normal.  The sun’s proximity to earth is a factor and so is the position of the earth’s axis and its angle of tilt, all of which change over time.  Just within human history the earth has sustained at least two warming and cooling cycles.  Those who ignore the facts are blinkered, causing Canadians very expensive changes in government policy.

Finally, I object to your assertion that farmers are less educated than others.  Farmers know climate far better than sheltered city dwellers.  They also attend university in droves to learn improved agricultural techniques.  Canada could use a few more citizens as knowledgeable as farmers.

Don Johnson’s response to the Amendments to the “Conservation Authorities Act”
As a property owner affected by Conservation Authority (CA) interferences, I have a good knowledge of the Conservation Authorities Act and issues concerning CA’s. I have participated actively in the MECP public meetings and MECP meetings with various sectors, which includes the 37 CA’s in the Province plus numerous environmental groups and other interest groups.

In every meeting, everyone agrees “protecting the environment was important”. The interesting part was that even the CA’s were saying they were not completing their own mandated watershed management responsibilities and that many were focused on non mandated activities which were recreational in nature. Many also stated they did not have expertise in their organizations to do the watershed management studies or projects  and that they relied on hiring outside expertise from other CA’s.

The nightmare of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)  and its development permitting was clear to all and the fact the NPCA defied the minister on grounds they said he had no authority, is now clearly put to bed.

Forcing the CA’s to now be more accountable to taxpayers for their spending is a good thing.

So too is the right to appeal to the government when a high level balanced  decision, which affects environment, the needs of society and rights of property owners, is needed.

If one takes the time to read the old act, read the background reports and studies re the problems CA’s have caused, then studied the changes being made, you will come to the realization these changes do not result in less protection of the environment, they result in more CA  accountability to the taxpayers and citizens.

The Ford Government and minister Clark should be congratulated on the changes they have made. The changes do not result in less protection of the environment!