VIDEO: Fighting for property rights. Land rights and gun rights in Canada

- January 20th, 2012

UPDATE: Related video -

VIDEO: Lawyer explains the problem of property rights and gun rights in Canada

 

If you were walking down the street and someone came up and told you to give them all your money or your jewelry, would you consider yourself robbed?

If a group of people you had not invited onto your land set up camp and refused to leave and claimed part of your land as their own and started making decisions on what could happen on your property, would you feel wronged?

The answer, of course, is yes and most of us would likely seek to have the police intervene and sort the problem out.

But what if the police are the ones robbing you?

That’s what is happening with the gun registry right now as people are forced to surrender their rifles without compensation.

Or what if it is government that is moving onto your land and dictating to you what you can and cannot do?

That is what is happening across Canada when it comes to land property rights.

If you speak to many Canadians about property rights, they will tell you that we do not have them in this country and point out that property rights are not guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That last part is true, but that does not mean that property rights do not exist in Canada. We just sometimes have to fight for them a bit harder than we should.

But we have always had property rights in this country.

Remember that section 26 of the Charter says:

“The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights and freedoms that exist in Canada.’

The Magna Carta laid out that agents of the king were not supposed to take property from the people without compensating them for it. This has been Canadian tradition and jurisprudence going back through our history.

Even the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized property rights. In the 1975 case Harrison v Carswell the court upheld private property rights saying that,

“Anglo-Canadian jurisprudence has traditionally recognized, as a fundamental freedom, the right of the individual to the enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof, of any interest therein, save by due process of law.”

Prime Minister Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights, which the government of today says is still in force, recognizes property rights as does the United Nations Declaration of Universal Rights.

Too often though, Canadians will not fight back.

We allow municipalities to pass laws requiring us to get permission to do things property owners have been doing for centuries, such as cutting down a tree.

We allow unelected, bureaucratic bodies to make rules for us and how we can use and enjoy our land.

We allow the idea to be spread that there is nothing we can do when there is.

We can fight back. Tonight, you will hear from some people who are doing just that, we should all learn from their example.

And that’s the Byline.

 

Categories: Politics

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4 comments

  1. Jamie MacMaster says:

    Any government that truly valued freedom would recognize the right to own, use and enjoy property as one of the most fundamental human freedoms. Yet Canada – a country that postures on the international stage as a truly modern democracy – continues to deny its citizens this most basic human right.

    So it raises the question, why? And the only logical answer can be this:

    Our provincial and federal governments are afraid of granting us property rights – because, by doing so, it would severely curtail their abilities to expand (and even maintain) their empires.

    So much for the old nonsense that government is “by the people, for the people”. Government has nothing to do with ‘us’. It has everything to do with ‘them’.

  2. Brian Lilley says:

    Jamie, this may seem like a small point but it is an important one, governments do not grant us rights, property or otherwise.
    Governments are supposed to protect and guarantee our rights.

  3. Nick says:

    Property rights are one of the most important rights we have. That is because teh land you own, is where the power is. If you can bar the door to state intervention, then the state is dramatically limited in it’s ability to exercise social engineering. And in my mind, that is a very good thing.

  4. Jamie MacMaster says:

    “Governments are supposed to protect and guarantee our rights.”

    Brian, dead on. And as your Byline stated, most Candians don’t make those demands. They think that their only responsibility to maintain a democracy is to (grudgingly) mark an “x” every few years, and then walk away and things will just take care of themselves.

    I’ve used the anolgy that leaving politicians and bureaucats unsupervised for any period of time produces the same result as leaving two 8 year old boys with a book of matches all alone in a barn full of straw. Yet most Canadians do just that – and then they can’t figure out what happened when they are the victim of some regulatory stupidity.

    They fell asleep at the wheel of democracy and can’t figure out why they’re in the ditch.

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