02.24.2011 07:52 AM

“Property rights” in the Constitution

…that’s what Tim Hudak’s PCs want. What does it mean for you?

  • Higher drug prices, in perpetuity, as Big Pharma will win eternal patent protections
  • The loss of anti-pollution rules
  • The end of new parks and the potential elimination of existing parks
  • Elimination of zoning rules designed to prevent neighbourhoods from being ruined – noise bylaws, giant homes, etc.
  • Friction with aboriginal peoples, with land claims being overturned and challenged
  • Discrimination against women in divorce settlements
  • The challenge of labour laws, and potential end to collective bargaining
  • The loss of shorelines, and commercialization of public lands

It’s crazy. And it raises the key question: where does Tim Hudak stand?  Is the No Plan Man© now, fully, a hostage of a cabal of lawless rural extremists?

More here and here.

Hillier, the real PC leader, in handcuffs at an OLA protest.


  1. Andrew says:

    it’s a good thing that patent’s are a federal area and Hudak as Premier would have no control.

    • Warren says:

      Ever heard of the formulary, sporto?

      • Andrew says:

        not in the patent act I haven’t 😉

        they may get eternal patent “like” protection, but not actual eternal patent protection.

    • Jerome Bastien says:

      In any event, the patent act must follow international conventions, and every country in the world gives patent terms which correspond to roughly twenty years after filing. The idea of eternal patents simply makes zero sense, because a patent is well understood to be a ‘quid pro quo’ type of deal: public gets disclosure and patentee gets temporary monopoly – there is no ‘quid pro quo’ if a patent last forever. Moreover, if some idiot tried to claim the term on his patent violates the Charter, and even if the court agreed that it was a prima facie violation of property rights, section 1 would save it.

      There is simply no way property rights in the constitution would extend intellectual property rights which are known to be temporary indefinitely.

      But it could prevent some land from being expropriated by the government – and that’s a good thing.

      • Warren says:

        Drive to work on a mud track and not a highway, did you?

        Keep defending it. I beg you.

        • Jerome Bastien says:

          That’s a good point WK but there must still be a balance between property owners and the government, and the ’eminent domain’ cases in the states are a good example of the balance being too tilted towards the government. Im not sure what this balance is in Canada.

          Anyhow, Im not actually in favour of amending the constitution (for whatever reason), nor am I particularly in favour of adding property rights even if amending the constitution was easy, but my main point was that this ‘eternal patent’ talking point you trotted out was completely false.

          I also wouldnt dismiss Hudak’s idea out of hand – in fact I think it would be helpful to have a discussion on the potential ramifications of property rights in the charter, as well as what kind of situation it would prevent. Of course I can say that as a simple citizen because unlike you Im not a Liberal talking head – I understand that as a matter of course you have to take a metaphorical dump on anything Hudak says.

          Out of the ones you mention, many are just nonsense (patents, pollution, zoning, discrimination, end of collective bargaining) and one in particular is already happening (friction with aboriginals – been to Caledonia lately?), but your point about roads is far more relevant.

  2. V. Malaise says:

    Soooo…. WK, what’s your evidence of these…. assertions? 🙂

  3. Blaster says:

    Ruh roh! I guess the Ontario running scared. When Kinsella’s going for The Fear, one can only presume that Dolton is polling poorly.

    And I find it absolutely hilarious that only two posts after you try to make a case for sleep-walking being a human rights issue, you’re blasting the idea of individual property rights.

    A few notes about the United States:
    1) They have constitutionally enshrined property rights
    2) They have anti-pollution laws (or “rules”)
    3) They have parks. More parks than Canada, in fact.
    4) They have noise by-laws, and zoning rules as well.
    5) They have unions and collective bargaining rights (note the collective Union fury in Wis right now)
    6) Friction with aboriginals has been a problem since confederation, and property rights might be a great way to LESSEN that friction. Dalton, however, increases friction with aboriginals.
    7) Discrimination in divorce cases is already rampant in aboriginal communities, specifically because women have no property rights. But you knew that, because you’re party has been fighting to ensure that aboriginal women don’t have any rights when it comes to divorce.

  4. gretschfan says:

    Property rights is a long-time obsession of one wing of that party. I vividly remember how, back when the Beaudoin Dobbie Castonguay Committee on Constitutional Reform issued its report, the Conservatives snuck in a recommendation for a property right clause. To my best recall, not once had this come up in over 200 hours of presentations during the committee’s cross-country consultations. Nor was it in any of the deliberations. But there is was at the 11th hour, presented as if by popular demand.

  5. Philip says:

    Short hair, red suspenders, white t-shirt and blue jeans. I haven’t seen that look since the late 70s in England and the early 80s here. Perhaps a one man crusade to bring back Oi bands?

  6. Tim says:

    In terms of patents, property rights are already protected in areas of Federal jurisdiction by the Diefenbaker era Bill of Rights. I will mention private businesses such as pipelines and railroads if given a choice prefer to be under federal jurisdiction despite the fact in theory in the eyes of people like Hillier the Federal Expropriation Act should be more restrictive due to the need to comply with the still in force Diefenbaker Bill of Rights compared to corresponding provincial legislation that in theory would not.

  7. Kevin says:

    The US has constitutionally-enshrined property rights, but their property law isnt that much different from Canada. We have expropriation; they have “eminent domain”, which gets abuses by local governments in ways that don’t happen in Canada. And how long is the US patent term anyway?

  8. Namesake says:

    Lest we forget, the incident at the centre of this they’re trying to pass off as “essentially a big picnic” that’s been driving this whole thing was:

    an annual for-profit, Libertarian summer camp/ conference, with 72 attendees in its latest iteration, held in contravention of the zoning laws for that rural area.


    which put a bee in the bonnet of the uber-Landowner Peter Jaworski who drafted his MPP Hillier & MP Reid to his cause;

    here’s Jaworski’s own site,

    where he takes on this very post at

    • JenS says:

      The Jaworskis broke the zoning bylaw in Clarington – a zoning bylaw that reasonably protects the municipality from becoming a mess of inappropriate land uses. Bylaws in Clarington are solely policed on a complaint basis. The Jaworskis event was subject of a complaint, and appropriate charges were laid (albeit by a perhaps over-zealous bylaw officer.) In this instance, the Municipality only backed down because of the bad publicity it was generating, but that gave Jaworski et al further fuel for their Liberaterian fire. And any time there’s that kind of fire, you can expect Hillier and Reid to jump right in.

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