Editorial Letter to the Owen Sound Sun Times

June 26,2002

Dear Editor:

The Pot calls the Kettle black. The Kettle bows, accepts the all and humbly begs to respond as follows.

A recently published letter from Mr. Gerald Wineberg makes disdainful reference to my “bias” in favour of property rights. The charge is accurate, proudly confirmed and freely admitted. And, since he appears to strongly oppose the right of citizens to own and enjoy private property, Mr. Wineberg is certainly a qualified expert on the subject of “bias”.

At first, after reading this shining example of revealed prejudice, I was disinclined to award it the dignity of a response. However, on reflection, it seems important to comment not on Mr. Wineberg’s presumed low opinion of this writer but, rather, on some of the issues raised in his letter.

Ex-lawyer Wineberg is correct in stating that some original Crown grants of land withheld timbering rights. This was an exemption believed to be often applied on the Bruce Peninsula but not realized until too late by unsuspecting pioneer settlers of that time and place.

Not to worry! By an act of God, a catastrophic forest fire subsequently destroyed most of the mature timber of the region thus cooling, until now, the legal inferno surrounding timbering rights. By the way, it was that disastrous fire, not an endless barrage of rural land use regulations so dear to the socialistic heart of BIG government proponents, that provided conditions to initiate the incredible diversity of flora and fauna now flourishing on the Bruce Peninsula.

When timbering rights on private property in Bruce and Grey counties are once again held to ransom through sly legislation fostered by unelected bureaucrats and unindicted co-conspirators, will another act of God be required to clear the tangles of regulatory underbrush being planted today?

That Ontario citizens do not have the constitutional or Charter right to own private property is a recorded fact. Although some Pots scream “bias”, this Kettle believes it’s also a circumstance very useful as a government window of opportunity to demean private land ownership and devalue private land value one insidious regulation at a time.

If so, history reminds us that, between the two major world wars of the last century, another misguided regime decreed that use and title of all privately held real estate be transferred to the state. In that instance, the objective was achieved not by incremental legislation but, instead, at the point of a gun. In the process some 25 million small landowners were liquidated by execution, starvation and forced labour.

So, whether accomplished by regulation or by genocide, abolition of private property rights can be seen as either a fraud or a crime. Or, in paraphrased Churchillian bias on which Comrade Winebergis at liberty to heap contempt, as an opinion that suggests “state control of all life and property will never work except in Heaven where they don’t need it or in Hell where they already have it”.

Choose your “bias”, folks. For the moment, it’s still a free country.

Norman E. Seabrook

If you have any questions or comments, please Mr. R. A. Fowler, Secretary.
or write
O.P.E.R.A. c/o R.A. Fowler, Secretary P.O. Box 483, Durham, Ontario. N0G 1R0