Montreal, December 15, 2004  /  No 149  
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Randy Hillier lives in Carleton Place, Ontario, and is President of the Lanark landowners association.
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by Randy Hillier
          A political noose has been slung around the neck of rural Ontario and is quietly and slowly being pulled ever tighter. The condemned community is unaware of the verdict and sentence, as the hangman’s rope draws tighter. Many people recognize the danger but invisible chains of apathy, political correctness, and fear of retribution bind and shackle them, as they hope and pray someone will intervene and rescue them.
          The same political noose strangled the East Coast fishery and maritime way of life. Many Canadians view that death as tragic, but rural Ontario’s demise will be just another statistic. The result will be the same: a once vibrant and prosperous rural culture and lifestyle becomes an impoverished welfare corpse, whose coffin is shuffled between government departments in failed attempts to revive a community devoid of spirit and hope. 
          The hands of the well-financed urban environmentalists with an academic mindset, and the unaccountable bureaucracy, legislated by urban politicians, all pull on the rope for the public good. The death by strangulation is incremental with a brief respite between pulls, allowing the victims to become acclimatized and tolerant of the uncomfortable feeling. Each respite gives the condemned a false feeling that the lastest pull was the last. However, history has shown on countless occasions that governments can only be restrained when individual's speak up and renounce injustice. 
Legislated death 
          What are the crimes requiring this legislated death of rural Ontario? It is the same crimes found throughout history when unlike people share a common government, and one culture has what the other wants but can’t reproduce. The first plaintiffs are the urban environmentalists who clamor for rural Ontario’s clean lakes, rivers, endless forests full of wildlife, and open fields. To the urban naturalist confined in a concrete lifestyle devoid of nature, this land is priceless and control must be taken away from the few rurals' so that the many urban socialists may enjoy.  
          The second plaintiff is the superior academic mind that views contradictory lifestyles as a danger which threatens its dominion over the majority. The academic elite can’t allow a self-reliant community with common sense, practical experience, and mutual respect to prosper and compete in their land of government certification, and institutional stagnation. Consistency is the academic goal no matter how low the standard is set. 
          The plaintiffs cry foul over rural prosperity and freedom and plead that their health and safety is endangered while patting the bureaucrat’s back with praise and adoration. The bureaucracy cannot expand and elevate its importance when people don’t need their services or approvals. The bureaucrats quickly support the plaintiffs’ claims of inequity and environmental dangers with new interpretations and recommendations. Unlike the plaintiffs, rural people are free of government dependence. They do not rely on government bureaucrats for delivery of their earnings, water, or removal of their waste, and they produce their own food. These people are self-sufficient in far too many respects for the government, and cannot be managed with bureaucratic efficiency. Rural people have managed and harvested nature’s resources for generations without government assistance, or guidance. This rural self-reliance and good stewardship threatens the downtown culture of dependence and lifestyle of control. 
          Urban politicians are prodded to authorize the injustice in the name of the law. Unrepresentative politicians are seduced by the urban mob apathy and accept the bureaucratic argument, because the rural body has no voice or advocate in the halls of parliamentary power. 
     “The means to tighten the noose comes with every new policy statement, regulation, interpretation or legislative act. It is a multi pronged and never-ending assault, difficult to resist or defend against.”
          The means to tighten the noose comes with every new policy statement, regulation, interpretation or legislative act. It is a multi pronged and never-ending assault, difficult to resist or defend against. The Safe Drinking Water Act instills a fear of ground water and lays the foundation to replace private wells with public pipes and chlorination systems. The Nutrient Management Act vilifies farmers as environmental criminals and impoverishes family farms while promoting intensive agricultural corporations. The Health Protection and Promotion Act creates a fear of food produced on the family farm, and promotes food produced and sanitized by intensive multinational corporations. The Species at Risk Act deceptively protects the birds and bees that are thought more important then people, as governments steal the use and enjoyment of private property through land use designations. The nobly named Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt steals and transfers a million acres of private land including the Niagara Escarpment & the Oak Ridges Moraine to state control for the public good. The Amalgamation Act cleverly silences the rural voice for economic efficiencies and places them under the protective blanket of urban municipalities. Academic panels sponsored by governments write endless reports recommending the relocation of rural people, eliminating rural funding, and suggest rural Ontario is unsustainable. 
Splitting jurisdictions 
          The results are clear; Ontario has lost thousands of family farms in the last decade. The Nutrient Management Act will suck upwards of six hundred million dollars out of rural Ontario’s cash strapped farmers to employ more downtown bureaucrats and consultants. One hundred abattoirs have died along with the famine of farm profits. Sawmills are being regulated out of business as Ontario logs are sent to Quebec for milling. Tourist outfitters are trapped with inhumane regulations and are agonizing over their future. Deer and elk farmers are hunted down with new regulations outlawing their livelihood. Campgrounds are loosing both ground and money as drinking water regulations and property tax interpretations impound their prospects. Eighty-eight campgrounds folded their tents in eastern Ontario alone in 2004. Farm equipment manufacturers have vanished along with Massey, Harris and a wagonload of dealers. Ignorance and tolerance for injustice to others has planted the seeds of rural destruction in our once lush field of democracy. 
          Rural Ontario can fight back issue by issue, problem by problem, but with every victory a new battle will begin. A just and fair society will recognize that unlike people, lifestyles and cultures cannot be governed by one set of laws without injustice. There is only one real solution when two cultures collide and one has an overwhelming majority willing to subject the minority. It is the creation of new and separate jurisdictions that has the support and approval of their respective constituents and protects their heritage. New political jurisdictions for both urban and rural people is the solution, not the gallows.  
          Ontario’s large cities are clamouring for more autonomy, political power, wealth, and transfer payments. The constraints of population density tax their residents’ ability to cope. New funds must be raised to supply the never-ending downtown demand for services. Rural Ontario can no longer carry the burden and ante up more money to cover the urban costs.  
          For rural Ontario to breathe freely once again the urban political noose must be cut from its neck, and a new province formed, liberated from the tyranny of the silent mob majority. A new provincial legislature, complete with its own constitution, that promotes justice, freedom and protection of private property and liberty, without infringing upon others is the answer. Rural Ontario must shed the shackles of apathy, correctness, and fear of controversy to regain its prosperity and democratic heritage. 
          Canada’s history is littered with the precedence of self-determination and creating new provincial jurisdictions since before confederation. The recent formation of Nunavut carved from the old North West Territories is the latest example. The prairie provinces and British Columbia were parceled out of Rupert’s land, and a new province from an old colony called Newfoundland are further examples of the Canadian confederation evolving in step and tune with peoples desires and democratic needs. Will rural Ontario have the determination and resolve to walk away from the gallows, onto the path our ancestors paved with determination for us? Or will another rural lifestyle and community sway and struggle on the gallows until the government coffins arrive on an election hearse?