Time for Some Accountability by Marlene Black

Marlene BlackWell, September is upon us once again…back to school, back to work, back to routine. I think it’s great to have a summer break but getting back into some kind of routine helps me focus a bit more, gives me some structure to my day.

It’s been a busy time for the landowners, lots of meetings and travel and with an election upon us, there are extra demands to help out where we can. As well, it seems that we are receiving more and more calls from people in trouble. When you hear their stories, you have to shake your head and wonder what the heck is happening out there in the ‘land of milk and honey’. There seems to be an abundance of power hungry, rule enforcing bureaucrats who don’t seem to have an ounce of sympathy for those that they bully.

Just last week, we had someone drive down from up north to see if he could find some answers to the questions he was asking. His bureaucratic nightmare was a guy bent on fining him for his unlicensed vehicles on his farm property. I did not know that this was a crime and I gather the judge didn’t either because he was found ‘not guilty’, or not only once, but ‘not guilty’ 3 times with different fines from this same bylaw enforcer. Why should he be put through this wringer of court and lawyers to end up where he started, having proved that he did nothing wrong? It is time for some accountability. When an anonymous person creates a long trail of misery for someone and it ends up being thrown out of court, it is time to take action and start nuisance torts against those that would see us suffer needlessly.

With only 13% of Ontario in the hands of private property owners, you would think that there is enough crown land and public land to keep all of these MNR and Conservation staff busy. They should be saving that crown land, looking after the turtles and snakes in all those rocks and trees that make up the 87% of the lands they own. Why do you think that they spend their time, taking pictures of some guy’s trees or swamp or looking into people’s yards to see if they can spot a crime in progress? Awful easy to charge some old 80 year old man with not using stamped lumber in his construction than to face a real criminal who might hurt them.

I find these rule enforcing, power hungry bullies to be cowards. I’m sorry but when you bring a swarm of police to protect you from some old lady who has too many cats or some guy who is putting up a shed with his own lumber and no permit, you have to wonder if they have too much time on their hands. Again, why aren’t¬ the CA’s busy dealing with their own crown land and leaving us alone.

Our private property rights have been passed on down through the ages, following British common law, protected with each bill passed. These rights are inalienable: the right to life, liberty, limb, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, private property and freedom of contract.

One of the market’s virtues, and the reason it enables so much peaceful interaction and cooperation among such a great variety of peoples, is that it demands of its participants only that they observe a relatively few basic principles, among them honesty, the sanctity of contracts, and respect for private property. Thomas Woods

What the landowners see daily, are government and non-government agencies, giving power to power hungry people, to go out and take away our rights. This should be a crime. This is a crime but these criminals are protected by the system. They are getting paid to do this, to spy on you, to take pictures of you maybe riding a dirt bike on your property and then to pounce on you and fine you with a new bylaw.

When the system needs more money, those in power pass more unconstitutional bylaws that instantly turn a law abiding citizen, into a criminal and then send out the ‘wanna be policemen’ to charge these once honest, law abiding citizens with a ‘new improved crime’. Of course, no one knew that these new crimes of parking too many vehicles on your land, filling up a low spot, cleaning out your farm ditch, having too many people in your barn, etc. were even crimes.

It’s a pretty fail safe money grab. If the citizen doth protest too much and heaven forbid, goes to court with his side of the story, then the fail safe mode kicks in and the bylaw officer, with great remorse, admits that he didn’t know the law and didn’t realize it was unconstitutional. He takes the hit. The victim pays the lawyer and the judge says “be careful next time”. But alas, most of the time, this scene doesn’t play out because they target those who may not be rich enough to pay a lawyer to get that not guilty verdict…and lower courts aren’t in the business of judging whether something was or was not, unconstitutional. That’s for another day, for another court and for another pricey lawyer. So for now, the system continues to bleed its people of their meager savings as it sends out its armed guards looking for some poor soul who might be breaking one of the 500,000 bylaws Ontario is so proud of.