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Letters, week of June 1

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Draft county plan includes ‘subtle form of expropriation’

Sir: If you’re a resident of Lambton County, no doubt you’ve noticed the yellow signs scattered throughout the county stating, “Scrap the Draft Official Plan.”

This appeal is coming to a head. On June 7, Lambton County council will consider the draft Official Plan (OP) again.  Some councillors are declaring their intent to vote to pass the OP at this meeting, even though it is still filled with major threats to private property.

In fact, only three of the thirty-nine issues identified in the legal letter — that residents paid over $10,000 to have researched and written — have been seriously considered in County Council meetings.

The letter can be found at www.clld.ca.

Some council members and staff will state that the public concerns are exaggerated or misstated.  But the maps don’t lie. The draft text doesn’t lie. When land designations are changed into protected and controlled areas, government is changing private property into public property.  When the draft OP introduces new language to expand woodlands, wetlands, animal habitats and corridors on private property, landowners would be wise to take note.

In a comparable situation where the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority placed restrictive controls on Alex and Tania Gilmour’s property near Orangeville, the courts stated that these regulations can “impair or even sterilize land from most uses” and that this was a “subtle form of expropriation.”

Concerned Landowners Legal Defence urges you to call the County Planning Department (519-845-0809 or 1-866-324-6912) and ask for a full-page printout of your property on all the maps – Natural Heritage System, Growth Strategy, Source Protection Plan, etc.

If we are going to protect our democratic rights as well as our freedom to make decisions for our land without excessive government intrusion, the time to act is now.

This high-risk situation makes it evident that Lambton County needs a permanent standing committee called a “Property Rights Council,” or similar.

Let’s do things differently in Lambton.  Instead of being lemmings and jumping off the cliff of radical environmentalism or excessive government control, let’s empower our economy to function freely and protect our landowners to live in peace and security.

Elizabeth Davis-Dagg


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