Ezra Levant: Overzealous by-law leaves sour taste

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Ezra Levant writes about what is happening to my parents in the Sun chain of newspapers today. He tells us that it was picked up by 27 different newspapers, including many in Ontario.

He spoke with the by-law officer who delivered the summons to Marta, and has been coming to our property on a regular basis since May. According to Ezra, the by-law officer plans on taking Marta and Lech’s sign advertising the bed and breakfast (you can see the sign in the picture accompanying the Oshawa This Week story here).

Here’s an excerpt from Ezra’s column entitled “Overzealous by-law leaves sour taste“:

“…the officer charged Peter’s parents with running an illegal “commercial conference centre,” which carries a fine of up to $50,000. The officer, a burly, tattooed, six-foot-something man, told Peter’s mom to “be very careful.” She burst into tears.

I phoned that bylaw officer to ask him about the Jaworskis. I found a man on a mission, boasting to me that his next step would be to take down the street sign for the family’s small bed and breakfast.

He was particularly pleased that he could do that without issuing a summons, or even receiving a complaint. When he sensed my sympathy for the Jaworskis, he hung up on me.”

You can read the rest here.

Ezra has also put up a blog post about his column, entitled “The bully of Clarington“:

“Usually I write my columns based on news reports that are in the public domain already. But for today’s column, I did a fair bit of reporting myself, calling most of the people involved in the story. That included a call to the most belligerent bylaw officer I could imagine, in the town of Clarington, Ontario. He positively boasted to me on the phone about what he had done to the Jaworski family, and what he was planning to do to them still. It was shocking — and a symptom of a government that no longer sees itself as a servant of the people, or even a policeman to the people, but as an antagonist of the people. The citizens are not the boss in the mind of this man; they are the enemy. He seemed to have a personal mission to harass the Jaworskis using every tool in his large book of laws.

Embarrassing; enraging; frightening.”

Are we frightened? To be honest, yes. What are we to do if Ezra is right? What does anyone do if a by-law enforcement officer, who is supposed to impartially enforce the law, is partial?

Clarington’s by-laws and regulations are numerous, complicated, and, according to several people we’ve spoken to, including an ex-mayor, some of the most complicated in Ontario. It’s very difficult to start a new business venture in Clarington. And Marta and Lech, while they want to be left in peace, also would like to see changes to the by-laws and regulations to make it easier not just for them, but for everyone in Clarington, to open a business, and to have more secure private property protection in the municipality.

We have a meeting with the municipality on Thursday. We’ll update you on how that conversation goes.

(And thank you to everyone who has called our municipality, and who has sent us words of encouragement and support, including contributions. It is unbelievable to us how many of you have shared similar stories of how difficult, expensive, and humiliating it is to deal with your local municipalities, their by-laws and regulations. This needs to change.)

If you would like to help, please call our councillors and mayor (click for details). If you can, please also consider donating to the Marta & Lech legal defence fund (click for details).

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2 Responses to Ezra Levant: Overzealous by-law leaves sour taste

  1. Kevin Kane says:

    Peter, you’ve done a great job in getting the public’s attention on this freedom-threatening incident!

    Regardless of people’s political orientation, everyone can sympathize with how your family is threatened – this could happen to anyone.

    Our government should help peaceful, enterprising citizens like your parents, not thwart them. In a country that celebrates its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, bureaucratic thugs have no place.

  2. Pingback: Disappointing meeting with municipality | Willow Pond Bed and Breakfast

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