In Richmond, August 4th, 2004...
(View: Meeting Notice)
The LLA addresses serious problems with the city's "Jock River Subwatershed Reach 2 Study"
|The Lanark Landowners Association
(LLA) met with close to a hundred irritated local landowners in
the Richmond Arena Hall on Wednesday night, (August 4th). The property owners were there to
get the straight goods on what the city's agenda really is, with
regard to its "Jock River Subwatershed Reach2 Study" plans. What they
heard, did not paint a pretty picture.
Randy Hillier, President of the LLA,
said, "They want to inventory your land". He explained that city
planners, and representatives from several provincial
ministries, were seeking permission from landowners, to
catalogue all of the features of owners' properties within the
study area. Once inside, they would study the physical
attributes of the property: the vegetation (tree
species, varieties of plant growth, etc.), soil types, groundwater
features (if any), the wildlife and natural habitats, etc.
Randy Hillier addressed Jock
River area landowners in Richmond on Wednesday, August 4th.
don't protect the individual in society, you're not
Hillier, President of the Lanark Landowners Association
After citing several cases where
such property invasions went horribly wrong, Mr. Hillier stated, "There can
be no benefit for the landowner, with such an exercise." He
described how everything the city would be doing would be to their
own advantage ...and at the disadvantage of the property owner. He
portrayed their motives as completely self-serving, and while they
claim to be acting in the "public interest", Randy has yet to see
how making individual property owners suffer, can be seen as
"acting in the public interest".
"If you don't protect the
individual in society, you're not protecting society.", he
Hillier went on to explain how
owners in past
situations, like this, have suddenly discovered their land was
re-designated, such that they couldn't sever a lot, or use it for
many of its former uses, causing the property to be drastically
devalued. In some cases new mortgaging has become unavailable, or
the existing mortgages have become un-renewable.
"Everyone else seems to think they
have rights to our land, to the exclusion of the people who have
title to it, pay the taxes, and carry the mortgages!", he said.
|Jack MacLaren, a director of
the Ottawa-Carleton Soil and Crop Improvement Association, (OCSCIA),
is also a member of the LLA as well as of the Rural Council. His comments on behalf of large
property owners, most of which are farmers, was impassioned and very
much to the point.
land owners you have everything to lose and nothing to
-Jack MacLaren, director, OCSCIA
"Urban politicians are
governing rural areas and they're doing a lousy job of it", he
MacLaren holds up the "NO" flyer, he sent to landowners in the
Jock River subwatershed area. Attendees at the Richmond meeting
appreciated the 'heads-up' given by the flyer, and the LLA-sponsored
Mr. MacLaren held up the "NO"
flyer, he said that the OCSCIA had distributed some weeks earlier, and
reiterated that the purpose and message of the flyer was the warn
all property owners in the subwatershed study area that they could
let the city's investigation team on their property, if they
so-wished, but they would be doing so at their own peril.
He pointed to the flyers message:
"It is our considered recommendation that you do not give these
people permission to enter your property because the results of the
study could potentially result in land use designations that could
restrict or interfere with your ability to use your property for
work, pleasure or profit. As land owners you have everything to lose
and nothing to gain." (To view flyer, and related information:
Mike Campbell, from the
Willola Beach Homeowners Association, briefly outlined how the city
is misusing our municipal tax dollars on an unnecessary boat by-pass
in the Fitzroy Harbour area. The bypass is unnecessary, because the
infrastructure and facilities on the Quebec side of the river would
be all that is needed to provide upstream access for boats.
Mike drew attention to the clear
hypocrisy of the city ---when it professes to be doing the Jock
River subwatershed study in the name of preserving and protecting
the environment ---while simultaneously using our tax
dollars to support the destruction of fish habitat with a 500-ft burm off the pristine Willola Beach shoreline, and to allow the
construction of a bypass-road through a park and natural wetlands
All of this work is proposed to be
done under the guise of an Environmental Assessment approval.
However, that EA
no longer reflects the current project design changes, and, even
worse, it appears that no
one at the city, (nor MOE for that matter), has examined the EA
documentation in detail
or paid any attention to its gross errors.
Mr. Campbell argues that, "In light
of the city's support for the environmental destruction that would
be associated with an un-needed boat bypass, at Willola Beach, the
city does not have any credibility behind its stated aims and
objectives for its planned Jock River watershed study".
Bruce Webster, representing
the Richmond Village Association, thanked the Lanark Landowners
Association for taking the time to share their experiences with local land owners.
He stated that, "The City of Ottawa,
under the misguidance of Bob Chiarelli, and ...many equally inept
councillors, has demonstrated a lack of stewardship never seen
before in the history of Bytown."
Referring to the hypocrisy and
apparent disingenuineness of the city's stated subwatershed study
long-term ecological sustainability of the subwatershed and its
significant natural resources”,
“to restore and enhance the natural system and promote
compatible uses”), Mr. Webster asserted, "We
in Richmond can understand (the need for ecological
sustainability), since our source of water is being put at risk by
THE CITY. What the city is doing here, is a first in all of
Ontario: No other area in Ontario has a high pressure sewer
running through their aquifer. The city is setting Richmond
residents up for a potential disaster that could be multiples
WORSE than Walkerton!"
Webster, of the Richmond Village Association, sees a strong
contradiction between the city's stated "subwatershed study"
goals, "to ensure long-term ecological sustainability of the
subwatershed", and what the city is doing with its installation
of an unsustainable ---and high risk--- pressurized sewage
forcemain through the shallow-well aquifer of over 5,000
same city wants to tell you what you can do with your property,
if you live within the Jock River area. Tell them, 'NO
"Now this same city wants to tell
you what you can do with your property, if you live within the
Jock River area." He ended with, "Tell them, 'No way!'".
When the meeting adjourned, around
9:00 pm, many conversations continued for some time later, in small
groups in the hall, and afterwards, in the parking lot. One of the
discussions described the current Subwatershed "Study", as a
"sneakier version of the earlier land-grab-attempt by the
previous regional government: "the 'Greenspace-2000'-sham".
Former Nepean Reeve
raises good point
At the Richmond meeting, well respected former Nepean
Reeve, Aubrey Moody questioned why the city was
meddling with landowners' private property, when it is not even looking after its own
property ---by not complying with the Noxious Weed Act. This
prompted RVA director, Bruce Webster, to write to the city
and the relevant provincial departments, to follow-up.
To view Webster's letter to
By the end of the evening, it
appeared that there would be very few, if any, land owners willing to
play the city planners' proposed ...'one-sided game of Russian roulette'.
RuralCouncil.ca - Editor's Note:
While the focus of the Rural
Council has been mainly on governance issues, (i.e.:
fighting for the restoration of fundamental democratic rights ---by
tackling the problem of marginalized rural representation caused by the ill-conceived amalgamation of Ottawa-Carleton), the Rural Council would like to give a resounding
"Hats off, to the Lanark Landowner's Association!",
for its public-service/information-session, in Richmond, on August
The LLA is becoming increasingly
known across the province, (and even in some far-reaching areas
of North America such as Colorado), for its defense of basic
"quiet enjoyment rights" of property owners, as well as of their
The LLA has always, rightfully,
maintained that farmers and other rural landowners are for the most
part, law-abiding citizens who have the best knowledge and expertise
in protecting the environment, from a balanced eco-system approach,
and are far more capable than city politicians and bureaucrats at
managing their own rural affairs. Yet, the politicians and
bureaucrats, who are the very worst offenders at breaking the law
and polluting the environment, continue to invade the rural domain
...of which they know so little.
The Rural Council shares and
supports the LLA's interest in advising rural landowners of the
threats to their property rights and land values, posed by the City
of Ottawa's odious initiative: the "Jock River Subwatershed Reach2