Free speech victory just the beginning!

The Jaworski family, which has held the Liberty Summer Seminar on their land in Orono, Ontario for the last ten years, has been cleared of accusations that the get-together was an “improper use” of the property.

Clarington Township has dropped the charges laid by its by-law officers, perhaps fearing a defeat in the courts in addition to already widespread public disapproval of its actions in this matter.

The Ontario Landowners Association plans to follow-up on this, and will keep pushing for recognition of property rights for landowners.

This involves the little-known issue of Crown Land Patents, forming the original contract between the Crown and the person who acquired the land and settled it. The Patents still carry weight today.

I have heard of this before, referred to as ‘the terms and conditions contained in the original grant from the Crown’. To my knowledge the Crown can, for example, seize your land for military purposes at any time.

But far more to the point, in my opinion, is the disturbing fact that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms specifically excludes the right to own property. Thus I see it as imperative that the Charter be amended as quickly as possible to include this basic human right.

Ideally, of course, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be thrown into the dumpster in favour of a return to the more wide-ranging rights which flowed to us from centuries of English Common Law, but that may be a battle for another day.

In the meantime, perhaps the Ontario Landowners Association could consider joining up with similar organisations in the other provinces, to lobby for the necessary changes to be made to the Charter.

As I see it, anything less is just spitting into the wind.

Jeff Goodall. 

See “Landowners gear up to protect their rights” Toronto Sun February. 15th, 2011 here.

See “Seminar cleared of improper land use” Toronto Sun February 16th, 2011 here

See “Township bans free speech on private property” August 19th, 2010 here.