United landowners associations are beginning to speak out.




Mad as hell and not going to take it any more? Here's a revolution for you


ROY MacGREGOR                                                                 October 19, 2004
The Globe and Mail

MARMORA, ONT.
She calls it "my gift." Her neighbours curse it. Passing drivers put up with it because they have no choice.

Kathy Hamilton's "gift" is a construction detour off Highway 7 that funnels traffic off the main street of this tiny Central Ontario community and feeds passing vehicles straight to a stop sign outside the door of her small bungalow.

It is all she needs: a moment of their time.

She is hoping to start what she calls "the Rural Revolution." There are telltale signs all over her yard -- "Stop. This Land is Our Land. BACK OFF GOVERNMENT." Each passing driver who opens a door or rolls down a window -- and the number who do is surprising -- is handed a single sheet flyer and the first issue of a newspaper that calls itself the Free Press Advocate and features a freedom fighter in its logo.

 
 
"People have been too quiet for too long in this country. There's this inner seething that is just boiling over, and we're hoping to channel it in a non-violent way to bring about some real change."

 

 
 

The flyer is produced by a growing group of landowners' associations and asks: "Are you fed up with the intolerable acts of Governments?" The litany of complaints with every conceivable level of government fills the entire page, from the federal firearms registry to the provincial management of natural resources to the local impact of amalgamation.

"The Landowners are resolved," the flyer reads, "to make Parliament restore 'Our right to own, use, enjoy and earn a living on our private property' -- free from the unnecessary and intrusive urban regulations that have closed our sawmills, slaughtered our abattoirs, broken the back of our family farms. . . ." The first edition of the little newspaper, far more elaborately printed than the little one-page flyer, says it intends to serve as a forum "for anyone who felt helpless to fight back." "For the first time," writes editor Doug Clark, who produces the little paper out of North Gower, another rural Ontario community, "anyone who feels lost, betrayed, alienated, ignored, abused, cheated or denied their sense of community, their chosen lifestyle and their rights will have one voice and one forum to express their discontent.

 
 
"This isn't just a rural battle," Clark writes in his paper, "we're just the first to fight back."
              
                              -Doug Clark, Editor, Free Press Advocate

 
 

. . ." This does not sound like quiet, mild-mannered, self-satisfied Ontario at all. It sounds, well, almost heartland American in tone, and certainly in this country far more in keeping with western alienation than any eastern contentment.

"This isn't just a rural battle," Clark writes in his paper, "we're just the first to fight back." Kathy Hamilton, bundled up against the rain and cold as she hands her documents to passing drivers, says she is aware that Canada is the most urbanized country in the world, with 80 per cent of the population living in suburban areas and city cores.

But psychologically, she says, it is quite the reverse.

Most of the passing drivers, she says, live in the Greater Toronto Area.

Some loop back to stop and chat with her about their own sense of antagonism toward increasing government.

"I've heard more stories than a waitress or a barber," she says.

 
 
"No more. Enough is enough. We're all going broke on the development and enforcement of all this crap. I'd rather die free and unhealthy if that's what it comes down to."

                                                             -Kathy Hamilton, Marmora, Ontario

 
 

"People have been too quiet for too long in this country. There's this inner seething that is just boiling over, and we're hoping to channel it in a non-violent way to bring about some real change." What galvanized matters for this sixty-ish woman was the push in recent years to protect non-smokers' rights, but she says no matter what the issue, it always comes down to property rights.

She just wants the government, at all imaginable levels, to "buzz off." What particularly irks Hamilton is the power enjoyed by interest groups, often publicly financed, that seem to get their way whenever politicians are significantly pressed.

"These are powerful people who are not elected," she says. "What can the average person do against that kind of power? "Every mother has heard a three-year-old say 'Mine!' and the mother has to say, "No, this is not yours, it's mine .

"No more. Enough is enough. We're all going broke on the development and enforcement of all this crap. I'd rather die free and unhealthy if that's what it comes down to.

"And I have to figure if this hits me, a live-in mom taking care of her daughter, then it's hitting lots of other people." There are, of course, no statistics available on that count. There is, however, a growing sense among some observers that Canada is becoming a bit of an Eeyore Nation, a country populated by people who have little or no confidence in anything ever working out for the good, let alone the best.

"Like a growing number of people," Hamilton says between passing cars, "I don't think there's a political fix.

"It makes no difference what party they're from. Even if they want to do something, they're bound by party politics." The only solution, she says, is a revolution -- one that she hopes would be non-violent -- that eventually forces all levels of government to "buzz off." And that, on this cold rainy day in the country, is the message she's handing out.

"This traffic," she says, "has been sent to me."

The Globe and Mail

 

 
Similar sentiment expressed at: Perth Farmers Market - September 11, 2004
 

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