Glengarry Landowner Association Activities
In March, Ian Cumming was elected as president of the Glengarry Landowners’ Association.
Glengarry has three regular contributors to the Landowner Magazine: Ian Cumming, Shawn McRae and Jamie MacMaster. As well, Jamie had three columns concerning property rights published in Real Estate Magazine – a monthly publication that is read by Canada’s 50,000 Realtors.
Ian Cumming and Shawn McRae reported the following, concerning compensation for land designation and land use affected by the Clean Water Act: In May 2008, a letter sent by Ian R. Smith, Director Source Protection Programs Branch Drinking Water Management Division to the chairpersons of the 19 Source Water Protection Committees, contained the following statement, "the Legislature does not intend there to be compensation for the imposition of land use restrictions." In an interview with Ontario Farmer, Smith said about farm organizations, " We hope they don't dig their heels in on this compensation thing." Which begs the question: If you couldn't afford the compensation, why did you pass the legislation?
Jack MacLaren, president of the Ontario Landowners' Association, was at Queen's Park in June. He and fellow Landowners were protesting the closing of rural schools. Shawn Carmichael told those assembled on the front lawn of Queen's Park, that 52 schools across Ontario were slated for closure. Carmichael felt that politicians should be putting more effort into keeping rural schools open.
July 1st marked the day the Ontario government passed the Endangered Species Act legislation. Once again Ontario's rural residents are being asked to pay the price for the public good of all the residents of this province. Significantly, the usual "stakeholder" panels were not part of the legislation's review process. The forestry industry and landowner opponents were replaced by a panel of "experts". Said experts, are members of the Save Ontario's Species (SOS) Coalition, founded in 2005 by five environmental groups. No wonder then, that this expert panel unanimously recommended such restrictive habitat protection; the legislation was written by the Ivy Foundation, one of the founding members of SOS.
In July the Governor General Leadership Conference (GGLC) requested a meeting with the Ontario Landowners' Association to discuss the issues of rural Ontario. The GGLC is a group of Canada's urban leaders-in-training. Attending the meeting in Lanark, from the Glengarry L.A. were Ian Cumming, Roy MacMaster, Shawn McRae and Jamie MacMaster. Topics discussed included loss of land equity due to land designation, lack of property rights, and rural school closures.
In July members of various Landowner Associations gathered in the Peterborough area to protest the actions of the local planning department. The planning department was refusing to grant building permits to 93-year old Cliff Tripp, stating he didn't have the necessary approval from the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority. Mr Tripp stated that the environmental impact studies the CA was asking for did not apply to his properties, as he had received the necessary approvals 30 years previously.
In August, the GLA showed the film "The Great Global Warming Swindle", a British documentary. This film offered the counter argument to the man-made global warming theory. "The recent fluctuations in the earth's climate are entirely normal and can not be attributed to human activity", said Dr. Fred Michel, who was the keynote speaker for the evening. Dr. Michel is the Director of Carleton University's Institute Of Environmental Science.
North Glengarry councillor, Jim Picken, serves as a board member on the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, and as a representative to this area's Source Protection Authority. In September, Jim pointed out that the Clean Water Act draft regulations failed to take into account that boat, vehicle, and train traffic along transportation corridors, are a threat to drinking water. If farming is considered a potential threat to clean water, then transportation routes must be considered as such as well.
In September we heard about the "Green Shift" plan from the federal Liberal leader. This was not a farmer friendly program, with a diesel fuel consumption levy. Heating costs, fertilizer costs and hydro costs were to have risen because of the proposed green taxes. Local Landowners showed their displeasure with the Green Shift when they attended the federal Liberal campaign kick-off in Ottawa. Once again pick-up trucks, tractors, wagons, and Landowners carrying property rights signs graced the streets of our nation's capital.
In October the GLA and the Prescott-Russell LA hosted an all-candidates debate for the GPR riding in the federal election. Pierre Lemieux, Conservative incumbent, Jean-Sebastien Caron of the NDP, Sylvie Lemieux of the Green Party, and Dan Boudria of the Liberal Party all attended the meeting. Pierre Lemieux was re-elected on October 14th, as the MP from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. In South Glengarry, CPC incumbent Guy Lauzon won his riding seat again.
Bill 50 passed third reading in the Ontario legislature in November. This is the bill that has given Ontario the strongest animal cruelty penalties in all of Canada. This bill has also given OSPCA inspectors the right of warrantless entry. Warrantless entry should be granted only in the most extreme circumstances, not something that should be broad-based, was a comment made by conservative MPP Tim Hudak. Indeed. As well, farmers and landowners are concerned about the threat to bio-security posed by this warrantless entry. The provincial government was asked to create a system of oversight and accountability of the OSPCA and the Animnal Care Review Board. The OLA, along with many other farming and rural groups, expressed grave concerns about the powers being granted to the OSPCA.
MPP Randy Hillier, of the PC party, chairs a new grassroots initiative called Partners with Rural Ontario. The concerns of rural Ontario will have a voice at Queen's Park due to the efforts of this group - five Conservative MPP's from across the province.
December 7th was one of the coldest days of the year, with -25 degrees on the thermometer. In spite of the bone-chilling cold, about 50 members and supporters of the OLA headed to Ottawa to protest the hijacking of democratic principles, when a coalition of the NDP, BQ, and the LPC attempted to take control of the governing of this country away from the elected Conservative Party of Canada. Pre-teens, teenagers, middle-agers and seniors, from Ontario and Quebec, in both official languages, added their voices to the protest. Conservative members of Parliament were in attendance, thanking those assembled. By noon, the protesters started their tractors, log skidders, buses and pick-up trucks, leaving the Hill with their police escort, satisfied that they had delivered their message.
Some members of the OLA became owners of several purebred Canadian horses when an auction of the animals was held in Stittsville. The OLA claimed that the horses were wrongfully removed from a Manitoulin Island farm more than two years ago by the OSPCA.
For more information about Landowner activities, you may do the following:
- Visit the OLA website: RuralRevolution.com
- You may subscribe to the magazine, The Landowner, via the internet: Landowner Magazine The Landowner is a magazine for rural people. It features a wide range of topics that are not often covered in mainstream newspapers. The words on the cover sum up its focus: "Rural Politics, Rural Businesses and Rural Families".
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