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Kevin Libin wrote a cover story about our saga in the National Post. But they weren’t finished. The editorial board of the newspaper decided that they wanted to comment on the story as well. On their website, they ran with an editorial board comment entitled “Save the Liberty Summer Seminar.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“Someone complained — the Jaworskis suspect local businesses, with whom they now compete due to their recently-obtained status as a bed-and-breakfast — and the inspectors swooped in. A scant four days ahead of the event, they announced that the Jaworskis’ kitchens and bathrooms were not “up to code”; they ordered a number of costly changes, including that the event be catered and that hand sanitizer and portable sinks be provided. The family complied, but nonetheless were later charged with using their land “for a use other than permitted residential use; namely for a commercial conference centre.”
If that’s the case, the definition of “commercial conference centre” has certainly expanded of late. Should the Jaworskis be found guilty, by implication anybody who has a big party and charges admission to cover the costs would be running afoul of the law. It’s not like the family made money off the event, or held one every week, or even every month. But the good bureaucrats of Clarington apparently think it worth the public’s while — and money — to prosecute the Jaworskis, who now face the possibility of fines of up to $50,000, as well as rezoning issues which might shut down their B and B.
This type of senseless bureaucratic incursion into people’s lives through over-broad regulation is simply not worthy of Canada. It fosters the type of culture the Jaworskis thought they had left behind in their native communist Poland, where businesses used the state to stamp out their rivals, and neighbours reported on each other’s alleged transgressions to curry favour with state officials. The charges against family should be dropped, and their summer freedom festival allowed to continue. In a country which prides itself on its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we should defend liberty whenever it is threatened — and that starts in our own backyards.”