WILLY BRANT’S DIARY — Stopped at Joe’s on the way home from town the other day to drop off some parts I picked up for him at the bus depot. Getting parts for some of his ancient equipment is getting to be quite a challenge, he found these at a scrap dealer in Minnesota, but they came by way of a customs broker in Fort Erie, so it took a lot of time. Joe says as soon as FedEx or anybody like that sees Ontario, they route it to Fort Erie, even if it is going just across the border. “Just a small one of the problems we have”, he says.
Anyway, Joe glowered at me over the top of his reading glasses when I came in, he wears them on those occasions when he can actually find them and thinks about it, then forgets to take them off before he goes outside and leaves them on the workbench in the shop, or in the barn. So I ask “feeling kind of sour today?” and this prompts quite an outburst.
“Yes”, he grits out, “I am catching up on my reading, and as usual this issue of “Landowner” magazine puts me in a rage. I am already up on step halfway down the first page, should be good for a couple more rages and a tantrum by the time I finish it.”
“So what’s up this time?” I ask. So he went on to explain that a farmer in eastern Ontario has had a long-standing business, raising lambs for the ethnic market. Some of the folks from southern or southeastern Europe have a tradition where they buy a lamb and butcher it according to their own custom for some religious observance or whatever. So this farmer has been selling the lamb live, and allowing the buyer to butcher it while still on the farm property, then take the meat away. But this time an MNR official turns up and charges the farmer with operating an illegal slaughter plant, as the premises has not been inspected, and the animal not government inspected before and after slaughter.
I butt in “so other than you have to wonder how this gets to be the MNR’s business, this sounds just like business as usual in Ontario, bureaucrats taking away our property and our rights, enforcing ‘food safety’ laws which mostly just protect the big guys and keep us peasants down. So why would that get you all worked up? Just Ontario doing its thing.”
“They asked the officer why he charged the farmer, not the guy who did the butchering, and his reply was that we treat the farmer like a drug dealer, he is responsible and the customer is innocent,” says Joe, “that kind of over-the-top anti-business, anti-private property thinking has no place in the Canada I grew up in. Imagine, if the guy shot a moose or a goose and butchered it on the farmers property that would be fine, no inspection needed. But a lamb means the farmer is a drug dealer? I give up.”
Joe needs to cool it, no use stressing about something we can’t do anything about. We know the city is taking away our land and our rights, now get on with your day.

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