Expropriation of Farm Land of Frank MeyersPublished on 29 April 2014 Your Question Period by Senator Mobina Jaffer
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Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. This question, along with the preamble, was submitted by Lisa Gibson on behalf of Frank Meyers and his 56,000 supporters.
The Liberal Senate forum received almost 40 questions on this topic through our new Question Period initiative. Of the questions, this one was submitted on behalf of Frank Meyers. My question is as follows.
Frank Meyers is an 86-year-old farmer from Trenton, Ontario. He was born on and has been farming the same land for his entire life. It was bestowed upon his forefather by King George III over 200 years ago as a gift for his service during the American Revolution. Signed in May 1978, a Crown patent assigned the property to the Meyers family forever. I emphasize “forever.” This land has since been expropriated by the Department of National Defence so that a joint task force training facility can be constructed.
Simply put, this land and farming are the only things that Frank has ever known. They are now being ripped away from him. Frank has worked tirelessly throughout his life to feed his family as well as the people of Canada. As such, it only seems appropriate that he be held in the highest regard. Please be advised that we have several concerns we would like addressed regarding the expropriation of the farm.
Leader, the main issue is the disappearance of farmland in Canada. With our world population increasing, so should the need for prime farmland. We have millions of acres of Crown land available in Canada — land that isn’t suitable for growing food; land that is already owned by the government, such as nearby Mountain View. Why can the base not be constructed in one of these locations?
Also, there does not seem to be any logic in using taxpayer money to expropriate land and construct a new military base with several mothballed bases across the country. It would seem far more practical to refurbish an existing base.
My question, leader, is this: Why is Frank Meyers being denied the farmland that has been in his family for 200 years?