Subject: Deer Removal Press Release

The Lanark Landowners Association attended the "deer removal permit- workshop" hosted by the MNR in Peterborough on Friday January 23. In attendance were delegates from the Animal Alliance, Federation of Anglers & Hunters (OFAH), Fruit & Vegetable Growers, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and various government ministry bureaucrats.

It became evident early in the day, that the process (called open & transparent) is corrupt and unjust as many invited groups have no financial interest and no legal entitlement or claim to the land. However, the MNR provides them a special platform the general public and affected landowners are denied.

The workshop illustrated how extreme groups can polarize the issues and burden landowners, the general public, and common people with injustice. The animal rights and environmental groups are insistent that wildlife is more important than farmers and their families, and that a persons property (lands, crops, trees etc) is of less value than a deer. However, they acknowledge it is the good stewardship of private landowners and farmers that have improved the deer’s habitat and allowed wildlife to flourish. This group is ready, willing, and if allowed, able to punish private landowners for being environmentally good stewards.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (OFAH) is another extreme group that seeks to remove landowner rights and replace them with special privileges for hunters. As with the environmentalist, OFAH needs the private landowner to provide access onto private lands so their members can enjoy their hobby (recreational hunting), but seek to impose unjust conditions, which denies the landowners the use and enjoyment of their private lands. And seek to imprison private landowners through policy revisions that would enable only OFAH members to remove deer on our private lands.

It is evident the environmentalists and the OFAH are "guests" on private lands but , with MNR sanctions, believe they can dictate the terms of use upon the people who own the land, and pay the mortgages and taxes. These extreme groups have no business at the discussion table, and displace the common people who are most affected by their special interests: and are ignorant of the cost their privilege will impose on their hosts.

This process parallels the injustice of another era, when people in the majority were free to burden others, by forcing some types of people to work without compensation, denying them the freedom to own property and the liberty to enjoy their lives. The practice of slavery was abolished two hundred tears ago, but is being revived as the wealthy urban majority seeks to deprive rural landowners of the same rights slaves were denied.

Lanark landowners will not allow special interests groups to remove our rights and replace them with privileges others will enjoy but not pay for. We will not compromise our rights, and will not negotiate or accept any level of injustice.

Randy Hillier
President, Lanark Landowners Association

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