| Apr 10, 2008

Feature Article - April 10, 2008

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Feature Article -April 10, 2008 Frontenac-Addington Landownersby Jeff Green

One thing was immediately clear at the founding meeting of the Frontenac/Lennox and Addington Landowners Association at the Kaladar Hall last Saturday: few if any of the speakers had any need of the PA system in the community centre.

What all of the men who spoke shared was a sense of defiance against the Government of Ontario.

“The government have become flakes; they have changed for the worst. I can’t believe what’s going on in the Province of Ontario” said a speaker representing the Landowners of the Niagara region.

The Lanark Landowners Association was formed a few years ago and they quickly made a name for themselves by driving tractors to Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, closing MNR offices, and through other actions aimed at regulations for sawmill operation, packaging food for farmers’ markets, deer culls, etc. Their slogan, “Back off Government, Get off my Land” became popular throughout rural Ontairo, and soon the Ontario Landowners were formed, with chapters springing up in many counties in eastern, southern, and western Ontario.

Edward Kennedy, from Harrowsmith, was an early convert to the landowner cause, and a member of the Lanark Landowners.

He decided recently to form a chapter in Frontenac and Addington Counties, and at the meeting people had the opportunity to join up and pay nominal dues.

Randy Hilllier, the founding President of the Lanark Landowners, and now the MPP for the riding of Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington, addressed the meeting.

Hillier said that the government policy and practice can be altered, and he pointed to some of the successes the landowners have had. “There is a real disconnect between the people who make the laws and the people who live by the laws,” he said. “They take the bus instead of taking a tractor. They believe that our working here is detrimental to the environment.”

Hillier made one statement that suggested he may be moderating his views about the Government of Ontario.

“We’re not saying government ought not to be there; we’re just saying they ought to back off a bit,” he said.

But he did urge the new Landowners group to assert themselves.

“Join the landowners, post a sign up, and have some fun doing it,” he said.

The Frontenac Addington Landowners’ first political action was scheduled for early this week at a farm that straddles rural Kingston and Leeds and Grenville County.

The farmer is embroiled in a dispute with the Cataraqui Conservation Authority over some ditching work.

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