Press release: Home owners burnt by barbecue seminar

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August 17: Home owners burnt by BBQ seminar

Orono, ON: Due to an anonymous zoning complaint filed with the local municipality, husband and wife bed-and-breakfast proprietors Marta & Lech Jaworski may be forced to pay as much as $50,000 in fines for permitting their son, Peter, to use his family’s property to host the Liberty Summer Seminar, an annual seminar in support of liberty.

“Our family escaped Poland for fear of reprisals in 1984 after my mom and dad handed out pro-democracy and pro-freedom literature from under my baby carriage,” said Peter Jaworski. “It’s ironic and upsetting that they may now be facing charges in Canada for allowing me to host an event in support of those very same principles.”

The Liberty Summer Seminar is a non-profit event for like-minded students and individuals hosted by the Institute for Liberal Studies, a registered charity in Canada.

The LSS has drawn hundreds of students and young people, prominent academics, like emeritus professor of philosophy Jan Narveson who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, journalists like CBC’s Kady O’Malley and U.S.-based Reason Magazine senior editor Michael C. Moynihan, as well as politicians like M.P. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, M.P.P. Randy Hillier, and M.P. Scott Reid, amongst many others.

Over the weekend of July 25, the LSS celebrated its tenth anniversary with a two-day event on the Orono property. On Sunday afternoon, as the event was wrapping up, a municipal law enforcement official arrived without notice in the car parking area. He quizzed a passing LSS participant about the event, asking him what had been served for lunch, as well as the cost of the registration fee, and the number of port-a-potties available. After a few minutes, the official left without attempting to speak to the Jaworski family.

On August 12th, Marta and Lech Jaworski were each served with a summons to appear in court on the grounds that they had “allowed the use of land in an agricultural zone for a use other than a permitted residential use; namely for a commercial conference centre,” which is contrary to Clarington by-laws.* A first offence carries a maximum penalty of $25,000 upon conviction.

“The municipality tells me that they work on a complaint basis,” said Peter Jaworski, “although I don’t believe any of our immediate neighbours complained, since we’ve been doing this for nine years without a single complaint or problem, and being very public about it.”

“I wrote about the Seminar in the Orono Weekly Times back when I was a weekly columnist with the newspaper, and it’s been mentioned in prominent media outlets like the CBC, Maclean’s, the Sun chain of newspapers, and the Western Standard,” continued Peter Jaworski.

The charges come at a time when Marta and Lech Jaworski are struggling financially. Lifelong entrepreneurs, in 1989 the couple started Ma-Le Enterprises — which takes the first two initials of their first names — a small business that sells children’s books, cookbooks, and other items directly to employees of various companies. After the global recession devastated their sales income,  they decided to turn the family farm into a bed and breakfast to make ends meet. Both Marta and Lech continue to work full-time, operating the bed and breakfast during their weekends.

“If we’re convicted of letting our son host an educational seminar and barbecue with his friends, these charges could bankrupt us,” said Lech Jaworski. “It’s hard to have peace-of-mind when you’re looking at something like this.”

“I  will always let my son use our property for what he believes in, and for the freedom we came to Canada to find,” said Marta Jaworski. “If he wants to host a seminar to support more liberty in Canada, we’re not just happy, but proud to let him do that. That’s what you do as parents.”

The Jaworskis are expected to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 605 Rossland Road East in Whitby, Ontario on the 28th of September at 2 p.m in courtroom #103. They are working on setting up a blog ( to draw attention to their plight, and have put together a legal defence fund to help pay for their legal fees.


For further information, contact:
Peter Jaworski (,
Marta & Lech Jaworski (

* The full text reads: “allowed the use of land in an agricultural zone for a use other than a permitted residential use; namely for a commercial conference centre, contrary to section 6.1(a) of Clarington Zoning  By-Law # 84-63 as amended, and therefore contrary to The Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. P. 13 section 67.”

**Orono, Ontario, is a small village about an hour’s drive East from Toronto, between Oshawa and Peterborough.


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17 Responses to Press release: Home owners burnt by barbecue seminar

  1. Pingback: Private Law, and Yes, Anecdotes are Data Points « Students for Liberty, UC Berkeley

  2. Pingback: At Home in Hespeler » Freedom’s Just Another Word…

  3. Pingback: Home owners burnt by barbecue « Daily News

  4. Sharon Maclise says:

    Please count me as a supporter. Do not be fooled, Mr. & Mrs. Jaworski. The attack on freedom in this country, that you are now a vicitm of, is orchestrated by our present government and promoted and supported by both opposition parties. These politicians may show up at your son’s seminar but they do so purely for their own political purposes. They will do nothing to protect you from the imperiousness of the state – indeed, they may be the very people who have “turned you in”. If they cared one dot for the freedom of Canadians they would have done something a long time ago to fix the egregious Human Rights Act. Instead, they spend all of their time and political capital making more restrictive and punitive laws intended to eventually completely undermine our freedom and independence and our ability to defend ourselves against the state. Wishing you the best of luck and encouraging you to remain strong and resilient in fighting the heavy-handed, misguided long arm of the law.
    Sharon Maclise, Edmonton

  5. James Bow says:

    This is either one of two things: it’s either malicious, or its thoughtless. Either is an outrage. I’ll be writing about this. You have my support.

  6. Angie says:

    You had a member of the Canadian Constitution Foundation at the Liberty Summer Seminar. Can the CCF take on your case? The only way I see out of this is a Constitutional challenge. That’s infuriating when you can’t even decide what to do with your own property. I hope it works out for you.

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  8. johndoe124 says:

    Might be worthwhile checking out Land Patent Grants. We have private property rights in this province which aren’t being recognized by any level of government. A Land Patent Grant will force governments to recognize your exclusive jurisdiction over your property. I’m not sure how that would impact zoning laws, but in any case, it gives you the right to refuse access to your property by anyone, including government officials. In other words, the official asking questions was illegally trespassing. I think there’s more information at the Ontario Landowner Assoc. website.

    I will be donating $100 to your legal fund. I wish I could donate more, but unfortunately this is Ontario and Dalton is my Daddy.

  9. Blog Wrath says:

    That is beyond appaling. I made a post on my blog about your your ordeal. I hope it will spread the word about it:

  10. Roberta & Peter McDonald says:

    If there something needed in this country it is convening people to discuss our rapidly diminishing liberties. Among other things, I refer to our Human Rights Commission which is restricting our most hallowed freedom of speech with such severe penalties that Canadians are self-censoring. The right to private property used to mean you had every right to have a gathering of reasonable size without interference from the authorities, but various levels of government keep making more and more bylaws to restrict that right. Marta Jaworski is correct when she says the penalties they are facing is akin to the oppression they felt in Poland. I am appalled at the actions of the municipality of Clarington and hope that the exposure you are getting will embarass the mayor and company into rescinding their accusations. Good luck to you, and bless you for helping to keep freedom alive.

  11. Kirk West says:

    Outrageous! More and more it seems like we exist only to justify the existence of government. I hope the Canadian civil liberties union makes a stink about this.

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  13. Patrick Ross says:

    It’s unfortunate that the individual who complained lacked the moral courage to do so under their name.

    I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that the individual who did so isn’t even a resident of Clarington.

  14. Pingback: The Tragedy at Willow Pond | Whiskey and Car Keys

  15. Pingback: Ontario libertarians at centre of property rights fight |

  16. helen reid says:

    i own a house, and i am not able to rent out my rooms because insurance companies will not cover more than 2 rooms being rented out. they control my house that i own. i

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