Tom Black, Past President, OLA asks for Support from the Agriculture Community

Tom Black

Hello to all people involved in animal agriculture in Ontario.

My name is Tom Black.  I am a fourth-generation farmer from Stittsville, Ontario. I am also the past president of the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA), a position I held for 7 years.

Five years ago, in 2013, the OLA, with the help of lawyer Kurtis Andrews, challenged the constitutionality of the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Act. We challenged 3 different aspects of the Act. The judge rendered his verdict in early January and agreed with us on one plank of the Act that we challenged. We contended that it was unconstitutional to give police powers to a charity, since there was no oversight and no accountability. The judge agreed and struck down the Act, giving the government one year to fix the legislation. He also said that he thought the Act needed to be rewritten because the judgment affected over twenty parts of the Act.

The Auditor General is going to appeal this judgment, and this is why I am trying to contact all groups in Ontario that represent livestock farming of all descriptions, or animals in general. If this judgment is not defended by the agricultural community, then we will be ignored when it comes time to rewrite the act. We already have a number of animal rights groups lining up as interveners, to make sure this case stands. But their reasons for wanting this Act opened up is not to necessarily help the farm community, and their design for this new legislation could make things far worse if we are not at the table to defend our livelihood.

Speaking on the Agenda with Steve Paikin on Friday, Feb. 1st, Camille Labchuk from the group called “Animal Justice”, accused the Dairy Farmers of Ontario of animal abuse because they separated calves from their mothers when they were born. When asked by the host, Steve Paikin, if she was Vegan, she replied “Animal lawyers don’t eat their clients”. Obviously, there will be very little common ground to consider when people from groups like Animal Justice, become involved to help the government write the changes to the OSPCA legislation.

The OLA has already submitted a draft of thoughts to the government on how we feel this Act could be approached when it is rewritten. We do not however, want to defend this case alone. We want everyone in agriculture to show the government that they want it fixed. If you do not look like you care, then the extremists will help the government write the new Act and the human element of the legislation will be omitted.

Please help us unite the animal agriculture community to speak with one voice on this issue. This is so important for all of us going forward.

The OLA will defend the win against the appeal, but we want all people who are involved in animal agriculture, to join with us. We are asking for small donations from every person, so we can prove to the government that we are united in our intent to fix this Act. It is important that we record everyone’s name and the County that they live in so politicians will know the importance of this case.

Donations can be made online at or you can send a cheque payable to the OLA Litigation Fund at PO Box 346, Woodlawn, ON. K0A 3M0.  If donating online, please include the name of your County for our records.

Please feel free to call or email me with your ideas or questions.  Thank you.

Tom Black