The Canadian Press (see NOTE #1, below) and the Globe and Mail (see NOTE 2, below) today reported that Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party leader, John Tory agrees with the Liberal government's idea of imposing a greenbelt law on privately-owned lands: he merely wants the government to implement the plan more carefully and more slowly.
Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever, who resides in the moraine town of Uxbridge, says "Premier McGuinty and Mr. Tory are on the same side of this issue: the wrong side".
"Mr. Tory’s ‘get it right’ and ‘don't get it done in a hurry’ comments today display a highly-developed evasive reliance upon distinctions without differences” says McKeever. “In effect, Mr. Tory is promising to be little more than a more cautious or accountable Liberal. And it is becoming increasingly clear that if the Progressive Conservatives were to win election 2007, landowners in the green belt and other designated green areas in Ontario would continue to suffer under green belt legislation."
“Contrary to what Mr. Tory implies, this is not merely a question of how, or of how quickly, landowners are screwed by the Ontario government. Nor is it a question of how much the government should compensate the landowners it victimizes. The real and important issue here is who has the power to choose what happens to privately owned land: the government or the people who own the land? I side with the landowners.
"Government is supposed to be what you turn to for help when someone violates your property rights. Government is not supposed to be violating the property rights of the people whose rights it is supposed to protect. What the Crown does with its own land is its own business. What the private citizens of Ontario do with their land is, likewise, their own business.
"I say that if the Crown wants to control what happens on a tract of land, it must do it buy respecting property rights. In short, it should buy the land from those who choose freely to sell. Those who do not want their land to be part of a green belt ought not to be forced into it.
"The Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives may not care about landowners and property rights, but I want Ontarian landowners to know that they can rely upon me, and Freedom Party, to defend their property rights. The Liberal/PC greenbelt idea must be scrapped.
NOTE 1: The Canadian Press' Keith Leslie today (25/01/2005) reported:
"Tory said the Conservatives support the idea of protecting large areas of land in southern Ontario from developers, but called on the government to slow down the process. 'Don't get it done in a hurry. Get it done right, and base it on real science, not political science or voodoo science,' he said."
NOTE 2: Quoting John Tory, the Globe and Mail's Caroline Alphonso today (25/01/2005) reported:
"....'We support the preservation of quality farmland
and environmentally sensitive land and we support more orderly urban
growth,' the opposition
leader [John Tory] told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. 'We're
saying to them 'Get it right. Take the time to get it right.' '
But Mr. Tory wouldn't indicate how much he would compensate
This media release has been sent to all major print, radio, and television media, to all Ontario MPPs, and to those affected by the Liberal/Progressive Conservative greenbelt plan.
For further information, contact Freedom Party of Ontario's leader, Paul McKeever:
Party of Ontario