Restoring Respect for Property Rights in Ontario by Shirley Dolan

Published May 1, 2017
Shirley Dolan

Shirley Dolan

This past week, I had the privilege of travelling with the Blue Ribbon Panel on Property Rights (BRPPR) as they continued their series of Town Hall meetings, this time, in south-western Ontario. To say that the meetings were profitable would be an understatement. The panel members are passionate about this topic and I can say that those who attended the meetings were equally engaged in wanting to “change the tone” to one of respect for property rights in Ontario.

To understand what is meant by changing the tone, you must first have an appreciation for the value of those rights and how they have been eroded over time. We learned that property rights are a bundle of rights, including human rights. We also learned that without these rights, we lose our freedom and prosperity.

The panel clearly demonstrated that here in Canada, we do have rule of law and a system of property rights supported by law. However, those laws are being disrespected and inappropriately applied. The panel heard time and time again about how people have lost their faith in government to protect their right to use, enjoy, and profit from their property. Bylaw officers and government agents feel free to trespass on private property without a warrant, to write up charges on the strength of one anonymous complaint, and to drag out a court case until the accused is financially, physically, and mentally bankrupt. We heard of instances where property was effectively taken without compensation. “If we have no rights to our land, then why do we have expropriation law”, said Tom Black, who challenged the audience to provide solutions for restoring respect for property rights.
The question of changing the tone on property rights is not simple. The answer is not more legislation. Perhaps it is education. Perhaps it is a change in the culture of the public service to one that recognizes that providing a service to people is better than trying to control them. What if government were to ask “Will this bill/bylaw hurt someone; will it reduce their right to own, use, and profit from their property, does the potential exist that someone could lose their property (car, house, land, animals) without compensation, what purpose is served by this bill/bylaw”?

The meetings were hosted by Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand Norfolk (in Langton), Sam Oosterhoff, MPP Niagara West-Glanbrook (in Lincoln), and Bob Bailey, MPP Sarnia-Lambton and Monte McNaughton, MPP Lambton-Kent-Middlesex (in Petrolia). The Chair of the BRPPR is Jack MacLaren, MPP for Carleton-Mississippi and a long-time supporter of property rights.

Do you have an idea or two on how to improve property rights in Ontario? Have your say at

Note on the photo: Langton, Ontario is the only community in North America named after Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop was a key figure in the presentation of the Magna Charta by the barons to King John in 1215. The Magna Carta is a foundation document containing protection for property and human rights. The stained-glass window showing Stephen Langton presenting King John with the Magna Carta, pictured above, can be found at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Langton, Ontario.

7 Responses to “Restoring Respect for Property Rights in Ontario by Shirley Dolan”

  1. Grace Joubarne May 31, 2017

    Actually, there is a very definite way to stand on Full Legal Capacity fundamental rights to enforce private property rights, education rights, parenting rights and so on. The Supreme Court of Canada has laid out exactly what needs to be done to enforce common law rights, and now we know what that is.

    We can also guarantee that using the Civil Law system will meet with defeat of the property owner EVERY time. I have learned this the hard way and that is what caused me to dive down the rabbit hole. The SCC has laid out the ONLY way anyone living in Canada can enforce their common law rights and that is what private property ownership is…a common law right. Lawyers are not permitted to tell you this as the Law Society/Bar has made sure to keep common law out of the courts. But common law has priority over civil law if you know how to invoke your right to stand on your common law rights.

    I am a big believer that insanity is indeed doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. How many years have we ‘hoped’ that one of the ruling parties would do what is right? I can prove that no matter which mainstream Party gets in, they have no power to change anything that comes as an order from the top. I can show why.

    Some 3-4 weeks ago my colleague Jurgen Vollrath offered the directorship of OLA and the chapters, the opportunity to hear our presentation –free. We received no response from OLA, which is really unfortunate, because many property owners are suffering needlessly.

    I can share that it hurts us deeply that we are considered not worth enough to OLA to even be heard or given a chance to show what we have. We received no response to our offer.

    Unfortunately, the biggest problem for all of us that the the enemy knows that this is the way the common people are…they get into packs and follow almost blindly. Right now OLA believes the savior is the Conservatives, when we can prove this is quite impossible…there will be nothing left after 2018’s election if we do not realize it is the last chance to save ourselves.

    Some 3 years of work and over 10,000 hours of hard research and investigative work has been done on why this whole matter has gotten out of hand…we have the facts, the evidence and we know what has to be done. Unless one knows the root cause of any problem, it cannot be fixed. We know the root cause and we know how to fix the problem. But we cannot do it alone and we are frantic at the thought that the more we try to get a word in edgewise to help, the more we are discarded without anyone even having heard our evidence and facts.

    We have the benefit of incredibly talented people working in the background (primarily to stay safe, since many people in both the USA and Canada have been ‘Kennedy-ied’ over this). We too have to be very careful as we try to educate others and get organized.

    The information we have is not FREEMAN.

    Personally, it has sadden me very, very deeply that every time we try to offer our information, our evidence, we are brushed aside because we are offering something outside the box.

    I am frightened for everyone — all my friends and neighbors — because this information that we now have shows that few know how horrible things are going to be shortly if we do not pull together and start doing something differently. It is one thing to keep saying that we have private property rights…it is another to actually know how to enforce them.

    We are working on making our PowerPoint Presentations available to select public members shortly. We will try to keep the cost of the course as low as possible, but we cannot travel and continue our research for free anymore. We are looking for a venue that will seat some 20 people with a large white wall that we can project our slides onto. Folks will then have practical tools to work with and not just ‘talk’.


  2. Stan Thayer May 8, 2017

    What a broke province of bleeding hearts we are!
    There is a countervail to any law, and I can prove that!
    No municipality alone can expropriate, and I can prove that!
    Liars, thieves and halfwits cannot govern predictably, and I can prove that.
    Hey lighten up folks, we’ve almost hit the bottom.
    There is a disastrous flood going on over here, has anyone seen Kathleen?
    Stan Thayer

  3. eric monkman May 2, 2017

    Ken Conrad Excellent post ! Would you equate “conditional severances” causing land aquisition to be fraudulent and in fact extortion and theft ? I would.

    • Darlene May 3, 2017

      Agree wholeheartedly. Theft of any kind is unconscionable. Take expropriation out of the equation all together.

  4. Ken Conrad May 1, 2017

    “If we have no rights to our land, then why do we have expropriation law”.

    Exactly, and I would like to point out that municipalities are using conditional severances as a tool to avoid “expropriation law”, in order to acquire property at no cost, yet requiring the landowner to cover the surveying and legal costs associated with the transfer.

    A municipalities’ arbitrary use of conditional severances in order to constrain a landowner into relinquishing a parcel of land at his/or her expense as well as place a neighbouring landowner in a precarious legal position in order that it can assume legal ownership of a parcel of land at no cost to itself, even though they and the Ontario Municipal Board deem it to be acceptable is nonetheless inappropriate. Such a practice in reality represents deliberate effort by municipalities to evade the expropriation process and opt rather for a method that violates the principles of fundamental justice.

    “The Expropriations Act defines that government can expropriate private property for the public good and the private property owner must be paid the highest land use market value”. Ontario Landowner Association Position Paper on Property Rights.

    If a municipality deems it necessary to take over ownership of a piece of property for the public good, then it only makes sense that the public assume the costs associated with such a take over including payment for the land at fair market value.

  5. James Leach May 1, 2017

    I second Bob’s recommendations above. I live on 1.97 acres, and because it is 0.3 acres short, I am unable to install a wood boiler due to Ottawa by-law, even if I followed their requirements to extend the chimney higher. I have no money to fight a legal battle.

  6. Bob Marcellus May 1, 2017

    I wonder if a new government would have the guts to eliminate the control of the Planning Act and Municipal By-Laws on private property.

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