Mr. Speaker, rural Ontario is under assault from federal and provincial Liberal governments that neither understand nor respect the rural way of life.
At the core of the Liberal attack is the belief that it is acceptable for governments to strip away the value of private property without providing compensation, or to arbitrarily adjust taxation levels in ways that amount to a confiscation of some or all of the value of private property.
In Ontario, this attack on rural property includes: the shutting of local slaughterhouses that cannot keep up with everchanging and arbitrary rules, the imposition of new sawdust disposal rules that may shut down many small sawmills, and the creation of nutrient management rules that make perfectly safe existing practices unlawful.
Finally and most egregiously, it is a year since the Liberals passed the Species at Risk Act without the amendment that I had proposed, which would have guaranteed full and prompt compensation for landowners who lose the use of lands inhabited by endangered species. The government promised that compensation would be assured in the regulations under the act. Today, it is clear that this was just another Liberal lie to rural Canadians.
Nobody disputes the right of governments to take property for public purposes or to limit its use, but depriving rural Canadians of full, prompt and just compensation is unjust and it must stop.