Government Incompetence Giving Way To Lawlessness

    Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

    This is what happens when a government abdicates one of its essential responsibilities, law and order. On the other hand, although we don’t have justice, we have thousands of square feet of solar panels and hundreds of windmills, sorry, wind generators, generating electricity several times more expensively than necessary. And one wonders why I say you can have a government job or respect.

    The “native” protestors who shut down this housing development terrorized law abiding citizens for several years without charges being laid and injured several quite severely. The final indignity, the government tax agency trying to take the money another level of government gave the aggrieved. All Canadians are equal before the law, Aboriginal Canadians just being significantly more equal.

    National Post – (Latest Edition)
    By Adrian Humphreys
A victory at last for Caledonia developers

Demoralizing, that’s for sure, absolutely demoralizing

• Developers awarded $16.5-million in government compensation after their Caledonia subdivision became a “lawless oasis” in 2006 — only to have Canada Revenue Agency try to grab half of it back in tax — have won a final round of vindication.

Not only has t he Tax Court of Canada ruled that $15,800,000 of their compensation is not taxable, the court ordered the government to pay an additional $576,673 toward their legal costs, ending years of frustrating negotiation and litigation stemming from the alarming 2006 native standoff southwest of Hamilton. “It is a complete victory for the taxpayer, and it closes a chapter in their lives that they can, hopefully, put behind them now,” said Geoffrey Shaw, the lawyer for brothers John and Don Henning.

The Hennings, operating under their development company name Henco Industries Ltd., lost their land and business when the Ontario government refused to intervene in the occupation of the 600-home subdivision under construction.

Their planned marquee subdivision, Douglas Creek Estates, became ground zero for a violent, volatile and unsettled occupation when protesters from nearby Six Nations reserve took over the site as part of an ongoing land dispute.

With blockades set up by protesters and the Ontario Provincial Police unwilling to enforce court orders to clear the site — or any law or order — on the estate, all construction ceased and the land became a dangerous no man’s land to outsiders.

Demonstrations periodically flared and angry counter protesters from the town of Caledonia sometimes clashed at the estate’s edge.

Douglas Creek Estates became home to roaming dogs, uncontrolled fires, confrontations, reports of gunfire and rumours of hidden weapons caches.

The place was described in civil court proceedings as an “oasis of lawlessness.”

The provincial government even rezoned the land — preventing its development in a bid to quell the protest and spur negotiation.


    This is also known as giving in to Native lawlessness.

Ontario took a hands-off approach after a botched Ontario Provincial Police raid inflamed the protest, causing it to spread beyond the estate.

Officials feared a repetition of a 1995 protest at Ipperwash Provincial Park where native protester Dudley George was shot and killed by the OPP.

“Ontario made a political decision to allow the protesters to continue to occupy Douglas Creek Estates,” Mr. Shaw told Tax Court of Canada Judge Campbell Miller at the April trial.

When the settlement from the government of Ontario came — $15,800,000 for turning over all of the company’s rights and interests in Douglas Creek; $650,000 as interim compensation early in the dispute; and additional money for two other nearby sites — it was an invitation to finally walk away.

Then came the unexpected tax hit.

“It was demoralizing, that’s for sure, absolutely demoralizing. When they had been through what they’d been through and then made an honourable tax position, to face that was not contemplated,” said Mr. Shaw.

The precise amount of the tax bill is not known, but it is estimated to have been about half of the total.

The tax agency took the view the payments were for land that was part of Henco’s inventory and thus fully taxable as income.

Henco argued the land became worthless by circumstances beyond its control and the payment was “to relieve a potentially catastrophic situation by eliminating lawlessness” and de-escalate the occupation and its political fallout.

In siding mostly with Henco, Judge Miller ruled “this is a story of a developer, Henco Indus tries Limited, who could not develop — through no fault of its own.”

He called the occupation an “increasingly and alarmingly dangerous situation in Caledonia demanding action from Ontario.”

The court was told that from the start of the occupation by natives on Feb. 28, 2006, until Oct. 31, 2006, the policing costs were about $15-million.

Had Douglas Creek Estates proceeded to plan, the subdivision development company anticipated revenues of $45-million with a profit of $30-million, court heard.

The Henning brothers are now building again, in a small way, in a neighbouring county — avoiding property near Caledonia.

They declined to comment on the tax court’s ruling.


    In the end, the taxpayer, that would be I and others, paid the freight for government incompetence and fear.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies



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