Proposed heritage designation provokes rural uproar in Milton

© AgMedia Inc.


Perhaps the planners have failed the farmers in this area. No one wants to take any responsiblity for the designations that are being applied. It is apparent that no one except the farmer can see what this is going to do down the road.

It is a good thing we have the premier ag minister on our side fighting for us.

One has to remember the difference between what is legal and what is lawful.

The government can and does pass laws that affect property rights and make such actions "legal". If the affected people don't like the new laws they have the option of challenging legislation to determine if the legislation is "lawful"

Therein lies property owners biggest downfall (for obvious reasons)..... not enough precedent setting challenges to keep things democratic and honest.

Property owners will need to pick the good fight... but it will be expensive and long drawn out.... and our government is well aware of that point. ie native land rights

There is no difference in the application between legislation, royal proclamation or legal and legislated. Only the difference of he who wrote the contract /law the ambiguity contained therein and who wins or loses.

As pointed out it may be long and drawn out, but the decision seems clear, similar and precedent setting. Its your land to win, loose or fight for.

It does not appear the GFOs are up for the fight or even aware of the long term damage to Ontario's largest industry.

It is time to practice common sense fiscal restraint and terminate the 25 yr old bureaucrats in the back rooms practicing urban planning terrorism on agriculture, rural Ontario's largest industry.

As the father of a well-educated 25-year-old (now living and working in Korea) I can assure you there aren't ANY 25-year-olds in ANY backrooms with ANY responsibility for much of anything - you're at least a generation out-of-touch with the reality of being a 25-year-old, and, unfortunately, it taints the credibility of the rest of your observations.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Why is it some people all they can do is give cheap shots against everyone they disagree with. It seems like jungle warfare going on, if you can,t say anything civilize why not try saying nothing at all.

I think some people think intimidation is a good way to impose their views. Wrong!

It would appear the councillors in Milton lack an understanding of farmers' rights, or more pointedly, misunderstand "agriculture".

A few points first.

Agriculture is defined as "a class of people that till the soil a/o raise stock".

Agriculture is not a zoning and it is not an industry. It's about "persons" working in conjunction with "natural resources".

Agriculture consists of two components. It deals with liberty and security of "property" interconnected with the liberty and security of "persons".

Qualifying "persons" were "appropriated" land Patents from the Sovereign. The land grants are signed, Sealed Covenants with rights, duties and obligations as defined by ancient servitudes. Farmers have Sovereign obligations to the Public by virtue of the land grants.

Appropriation is defined as "designation of use".

Therefore, when the Sovereign granted possession of lands to "persons", the Sovereign granted property rights "through which one can exercise dominion or control over something to the exclusion of all others. The owner of real property has the right to exclusive possession of their land, which includes the airspace above and the space below the surface within the exterior boundaries of the property".

One just has to read the first speech from Lt. Gov. Simcoe at the opening of Ontario's very first Parliament. He stated on Sept. 18/1792 "and that a numerous and agricultural people will speedily take POSSESSION of the SOIL and the CLIMATE, which under the British laws, and the munificence with which his Majesty has granted the lands of the Crown...." (all farmers need to look up this speech)

One also has to remember that Sir John Fortescue, Chief Justice of the King's Bench (1442-1461) legally stated: "And it is the rule of every law that every plant belongs to the soil where it is planted...". That means ... when the Sovereign granted the soil, he/she gave rights to all things OF the soil (unless items were specifically mentioned in previously passed legislation) for personal use.

This is where the Land Use Planning term "Agricultural Use" originated. Agricultural Use is a Sovereign designation in parts of Ontario with farmers having Sovereign rights to natural resources as defined by ancient laws. This term was in place, along with INDIVIDUAL rights awarded to farmers, long before the collective rights of municipalities were even established.

Individual rights trump collective rights..... especially rights awarded from the Sovereign.

But one also has to remember that for every land grant issued, there is a pre-document attached to the lands. This document defines who may enter farm property legally. It is the original "no-trespass" document. The Sovereign reserved the right to allow certain people (under prescribed conditions) the right to enter "agricultural" lands to the exclusion of all others.

Having said all that... it begs a few questions for the councillors of Milton.

Will a "natural heritage" designation impede the farmers' Sovereign rights to production and natural agricultural development? (while a "person" may not engage in marketing (selling) produce from a farm, it does not mean it is a non-agricultural state. The licenses for production lasts in Sovereign perpetuity, unless the owner have their rights expropriated or requests to surrender the rights).

Farmers were "appropriated" rights to their property. If the Town of Milton restricts Sovereign "agricultural use", will the Town do so by "expropriation"? Does the Town have the right to take Sovereign rights without compensation?

Does the natural heritage designation give the public the right enter farmland? If so, will the Town compensate affected land owners for violation of Sovereign "trespass" conditions?

The municipality is a creature (agent) of the Province of Ontario. If the Province, as agents of the Crown, accepts the change of designation from "agricultural use" to natural heritage, will the farmers be relieved of their Sovereign obligations to the Public in regards to domestic production? Will the people who have "rights" to domestic production have a legal claim to compensation for the loss of those rights?

By changing the designation of farmland, will the Town in effect change farmers' "actual" possession of their Sovereign rights attached to their property to "constructive" possession of their property? Will that supersede the functions of marketing boards?

How does the collective right of municipal control affect farmers' individual rights if their property is designated "natural heritage"? How much compensation is each property owner entitled to receive from the Public?

The Crown appropriated lands in Ontario stating the "Grantee shall have quiet possession of the said lands, free from all incumbrances".

If the Town of Milton changes "agricultural use" to "natural heritage", does that constitutes an incumbrance?

joann vergeer

That was then, this is now - the government of the day has the right, and must always have the right, to do what is necessary, and/or expedient, and/or in the interest of the common good, period. While your arguments may be of interest to people interested in ancient history, or irrelevancies, they are of no importance to those who must deal with the present. Agriculture is only one of the many competing uses of/for land in this region, and to claim, in any way, that agriculture has more rights than any other use, is complete nonsense, and unworthy of further examination or discussion. This is the 21st century - please stop pretending it is the 19th.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The previous poster has obviously done some research that gives a strong argument with historical fact to back their position. You on the other hand have once again mounted your stump to rant your irrefutable position as an absolute authority on most any subject that comes up with absolutely no backing.

Please provide equal quotable president history to back up your stump position.

Laws are made, and changed, for the good of us all, and are to be followed. If, for example, you don't like wearing seat-belts, don't wear seat belts and therefore run the risk of being fined for not doing so, but don't try to cite some nonsense from the 18th century claiming you have the "soverign right" to turn back the clock to a time long-since gone.
Ms. Vergeer's views, while of modest interest to those who value irrelevancies, and possibly to those who believe in rune-readings, serve only to obstruct genuine attempts to draft and enact legislation for the good of us all, not just now, but in the future.
And, double get over it, already, we, in Southern Ontario, are trying to farm in one of the most-densely populated areas of North America, and we don't seem to understand that the preservation of farmland is, and even the prospect of being able to grow our own food, given the demand for land for other purposes, irrelevant. I need only point to Southern California where, from the Pacific Ocean inland to Palm Springs, most of the farmland has disappeared into housing and roads, and people don't seem to starve. As near as I can tell, Southern Ontario is now what Southern California was in the late 50s, when orange groves were demolished to create Disneyland.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

So, now you are advocating turning Ontario into one giant park setting and it will be fine and dandy!

I've seen what's happened in the so-called "Inland empire" in the Riverside/San Bernardino area of California over the last 30 years, and I have no reason to believe it isn't happening here too. While there may still be primary agriculture in the Imperial Valley, and the Central Valley, there's nothing left anwhere from Long Beach to Palm Springs - 30 years ago, there were still lots of orange groves and market gardens, there aren't many now, and even the dairies near Ontario are an endangered species.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Wind turbines are a perfect example. Like them or not, the government marches on changing existing or introducing new legislations to get them up. In addition, Thompson is 100% correct in stating that agriculture should not have any more rights than any other industry.

We all know by now the gov't has bullied both the Green Belt and the GEA legislation. The GEA especially wind power has been shown by many professional economists and engineers to be a bogus energy program that will actually increase CO2 emissions, increase energy prices, and devalue and partially sterilize adjacent residential properties. Stephen, please show us the proof whereby these old original property rights have been taken away.

I think if you did your homework, you will find the government DID NOT change legislation in regards to wind power.

The laws were already on the books and never rescinded.

Just because the Crown did not exercise those powers does not mean they did not exist. If you want to take a creditable position, find out as many facts you can first and that means digging deep into the past.

While some believe agriculture SHOULD not have more rights than other sectors in society.... the truth is agriculture does indeed possess certain rights others do not protect Crowns' interests.

joann vergeer

In my area, and I was at some of the meetings, local municipalities had there power taken away and/or were overridden by federal laws so they were virtually powerless in dealing with wind companies and the GEA. In addition the government definately does have the power to change or introduce legislations that will override past ones.

I am not sure about other municipalities, but a number of years ago we approached our municipality concerning the possible development of wind structures.

As municipalities are creatures of the Province, their Official Plans must be approved by the Province. The Province gives consent to how a municipality utilizes land use.

Our municipal Official Plan was silent on wind turbines at the time.

Did the Province override our municipality? I would suggest not as it was not given the authority in the first place.

Having said that, I have reason to believe previous laws did allow for the ability of land owners to generate power. These laws were in place before municipalities were even formed.

joann vergeer

While I might agree with part of your landowner rights thesis, what part of NO to IWT don't you understand?
Industrial wind turbines are not even remotely comparable to windmills of the past.

There are now over 70 municipalities in Ontario who without the enactment of the bully Greed Energy Act would not be permitting ineffective, inefficient, intermittent, pulsating, community fracturing, not needed Industrial wind turbines. Several economists including Ross McKitrick from the U of Guelph say wind power is not in the publics best interest

I think you misunderstood my message.

The Province, in my opinion, totally understands where energy "rights" lie and who may or may not control those "rights".

If one reads any of Lt. Gov. Simcoe's papers, one will understand the "right" to create energy (i did not make reference to windmills). These rights were in place before municipalities were created.

Creating the energy on land parcels is one matter but transmitting the energy is totally another matter.

If you choose to fight the fight, you must understand the root of the rights and then play it forward.

joann vergeer

I suggest we keep in mind that it is farmers who we rely on to produce the various foods needed to sustain society. We, in the present, demand both quality and quantity for as little money as possibe - Call us the walmart generation if you will. What is in the interest of the common good is not as black and white as you suggest. Farming is not just 19th century nonsense. It is necessary. Put farmers out of business and then try going to the store for groceries, see how far you get.

The notion that forcing Canadian farmers to face the reality of the marketplace will result in empty grocery stores, is nothing more than 19th century protectionist fearmongering. Increased food availability, and increased food security, both come with more trade, not less. To insist that we somehow rely on "our" farmers is as nonsensical as the idea that we rely on "our" clothing manufacturers. We don't have much, if any, clothing manufacturing left in Canada, yet I've never seen any clothing stores with empty shelves, nor do we freeze for the lack of proper clothing - it is, therefore, complete nonsense to suggest that consumers will starve without, for example, 200% tariff barriers on certain food products. Sorry, but it is black-and-white - farmers don't need to be protected, and don't deserve to be protected, period. Would we have land selling at 50 times earnings if we weren't trying to enhance the "common good" through protectionist measures such as supply management and ethanol?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Then maybe some one needs to stop with the nonsense of thinking that he knows it all . Many times history is brought out in court cases and is relavent to today . Only those who have a personal agenda don't think history is relavent .

It's almost always people with a "personal agenda" who try to pervert common sense and present-day reality, by arguing long-forgotten, and completely out-of-context, references which they claim, without any qualifications on their part, to be precedents which support their cause. The reality is that we live in one of the most densely-populated areas in North America, and it is, therefore, completely unrealistic for farmers to think, even for a moment, that primary agriculture represents, or even should represent, a controlling interest in land use planning, or any other area of public policy. To cite dusty tomes, and/or scribblings on parchment, to support what is, even to any layperson, a lost cause, means an unwillingness to accept any sort of reality on the part of the person(s) making those claims.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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