What “Back off Government” Really Means by Tom Black

Tom Black

For many years, the OLA has stood up against politicians and governments, federal, provincial and municipal and their arms-lengths agencies when they have stepped beyond their jurisdiction and intruded upon private property. We have tried to stay out of conflicts that have involved neighbours except when it appeared that government or its agents have weighed in to make things unfair to one or more of the neighbours.

Now, over the years we have professed the values of property rights, not only for the growth and wealth of this country, but also as a protection of all our rights and freedoms. These freedoms were rolled into the Magna Carta when it established those rights that made the people, the power that ruled government not the other way around. The public in general has a hard time putting us in an appropriate slot and is confused by our logo that says, “Back off Government” and yet we have worked to put two of our former presidents in the Ontario Legislature. Many try to compare us to the “Free Man” movement because of our hard stand against government. The Free Men claim control over their property and claim that they don’t need to pay taxes or have driver’s licences to travel on roads. They believe that common law is the only law and that government has no say over them. They basically opt out of the country and participation in the society of our country. The OLA on the other hand participates in government, in elections, federal, provincial and municipal. We demand that the government obey their own laws, written by their own hands, in acts that they pass. We push them to honour the history of our ancestors who fought and died to give us a constitution that is a blueprint for our society to prosper and live in freedom. Our goal is to hold our elected officials to the highest moral code and we expect nothing less than fairness for every member of society from the poorest and frailest to the well off. The expectation of justice from our courts and the protection of our property rights from our police forces go hand in hand with what we expect our politicians to promote from their elected positions.

The other group that we are often compared to are the Libertarians. If you look at what they stand for you will find that there are many similarities with the OLA when we talk of property rights and freedoms but quickly go separate ways when it comes to government. The hard core libertarian looks on government as too large and the ideal, as per their writings, would be ‘no government’. In this ideal utopian world, every human being would attend to their own business and not do any harm to their neighbours and likewise, we would not look beyond our borders to help any other people, no matter their state of oppression, including economic aid. Libertarian author L. Neil Smith wrote “a libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against human beings, or advocate or delegate its initiation”. This libertarian philosophy is what kept the US out of WWII until Pearl Harbour was bombed and resulted in Germany almost winning the war and contributing to massive losses of innocent lives by sitting on the sidelines.

The OLA does not opt out of politics or the government of our province, nor do we opt out of our great country Canada. We also don’t opt out of the world. We believe that our country was built on a great set of values and expectations that were paid for in the blood of our ancestors and during the great wars, our friends from around the world came to stand with us, to defend freedom. We will not opt out of our fundamental responsibility to come to the aid of our neighbours, at home or abroad.