March 22, 2004
Honourable Steve Peters, Minister
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
77 Glenville Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1B3
Launched in 1994, the Ontario Property and Environmental Rights Alliance (OPERA) is a provincial coalition of trade associations and advocacy groups with a common mandate to “protect, and entrench in law, the rights and responsibilities of private landowners against arbitrary restrictions and decisions of government”.
The Alliance monitors, circulates and, where appropriate, formally protests federal and/or provincial legislation with accompanying regulations that adversely impact the lives and property of private landowners. Accordingly, over the past 10 years OPERA has filed oral and written submissions with numerous government ministries, tribunals, boards and committees including, but not limited to, provincial and federal agencies involved with Agriculture, Environment, Finance, Justice, Municipal Affairs, Natural Resources, the Niagara Escarpment and the Canadian Senate.
About a year ago, one of our member organizations, the Grey Association for Democracy and Growth (GDG), attempted without success to obtain a clear answer to a clear question from the then current OMAF Minister. Despite your personal assistance, as Opposition OMAF critic at the time, in asking for a coherent response to that question, it was never then or since properly addressed. Instead, a fruitless exchange of correspondence over many months, copies of which GDG has recently submitted to our office, produced sustained ministerial evasion and resulting appellant frustration.
On behalf of all our constituent organizations and their collective memberships, we herewith record verbatim the original GDG two-part query and respectfully ask for its clear and unequivocal response from your Ministry at the earliest possible date.
“(1) Does the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food subscribe to the right of
private citizens to own and enjoy private real estate in this province? and
(2) Will the Ministry endorse public debate on whether or not provincial legislation
should be introduced to ensure that right is protected under civil law?”
With apologies for this imposition on your time and patience, we believe the above query can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No” or “No Comment”. Your personal attention to that end is solicited and will be appreciated.
ONTARIO PROPERTY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ALLIANCE
R.A. (Bob) Fowler
c.c. ARPO, GTDI, GDG, LLA, OSRA, RCPLA, RSOA, WCRA, YDFAA