The saga of Mark Tijssen, the pork, and Ministry of Natural Resources, goes on

The tale of a Canadian army major and 40lbs of pork continues…….but has taken an uncomfortable twist.

What is a search warrant?  We don’t have property rights enshrined in Canada’s Constitution, so that’s not it.  A search warrant actually protects the privacy rights of citizens of this country – and that’s where Mark Tijssen’s story takes its nasty turn.

To back up a bit, in November 2009, Mark and a friend bought a live pig, brought it home and butchered it.  When the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) was made aware of this, an incredible chain of investigative actions was set in motion that saw Tijssen charged with four counts under the Ontario Food Safety and Quality Act and Regulation 31/05 (Meat).  By June of 2010, MNR made Tijssen an offer – plead guilty to all charges, and $100,000 in fines would be reduced to a paltry $1000.  What a deal! 

The only problem being that Mark Tijssen was, and is, firmly convinced that he had done nothing wrong.  Moreover, he was deeply offended by the actions of MNR that had included a full scale armed raid conducted without warrant on a Friday night while he was making pizza for three small children.

Two years and innumerable court appearances later, Mark Tijssen knows more about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the laws of this province than many people.  With the assistance of new-found friends and supporters in the Ontario Landowners Association and food choice advocate Michael Schmidt, Tijssen has successfully raised a Notice of Constitutional Question that will shape his trial, finally scheduled to begin on January 9, 2012 in Ottawa’s Elgin Street courthouse.

Unfortunately, there is another issue to be straightened out with MNR that has nothing to do with Tijssen’s innocence or guilt.  When Tijssen was presented with a copy of MNR Inspector Graham Ridley’s log book, he was horrified to read observations as to what his children were wearing and their activities.  Ridley had recorded these while surreptitiously observing the Tijssen house, yard and garage during a six day “stake out” in a neighbour’s tree house – using night vision binoculars no less.  Clearly Mr Ridley’s actions invaded the privacy of Tijssen, his family and friends – which would have been merely distasteful had he obtained a search warrant.  Without a warrant, they were illegal.  The senior crown attorney for MNR confirmed on November 18, 2011 that no warrant existed.  A complaint Tijssen sent by registered mail on the same day has yet to garner a response from either the Minister of Natural Resources or his crown attorney.

Mark Tijssen can be reached for comment at 613-277-8711 (cell), 613-822-4103 (home) or at

Michael Schmidt can be reached for comment at 519-369-8137 (cell)

Tom Black, President of the Ontario Landowner’s Association can be reached at 613-831-2642


Filed under News

6 responses to “The saga of Mark Tijssen, the pork, and Ministry of Natural Resources, goes on

  1. jhoe

    Is it not legal to slaughter a pig for your own use,i know u can do a beef,chicken,wild game.Ihave done pigs also,it is a littlemore work!Being in the city it hard to get rid of the waste.This sounds like MNR is deciding what we can eat and that they may think they are above the law!No search warrant!WHAT NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jefferson said that the amount of tyranny amount of tyranny that you will tolerate will be the amount that you will receive.

  3. Once it is established that your owners can keep you from slaughtering pigs you can be sure that all foods are next. Giving in to tyranny is a slippery slope.

    “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson

  4. Royce Hamer

    It all boils down to Corruption in the civil service and it starts with the Government’s of all levels. What the heck does MNR have to do with domesticated hogs. Wild game ok but not farm livestock.. Reign in these corrupt persons quickly.

  5. Wild game? You have to be kidding me…..

    I see you have a very dangerous view of government. Do you like most Canadians and Americans falsely believe that government should be our mommy and daddy and make sure we are kept safe?

    If so you are getting exactly what you have wished for Royce. There is no mystery, there is no corruption, here at all. Merely what the sheeple bleat for.

  6. Tim Mount

    The hypocrisy of all this is that wild game can be killed and passed around willy nilly with no inspection( MNR encourage party hunting for moose and deer). But domestic animals have to be monitored from birth to grave. Something like the gov’t bureaucrats think needs to be done to us.

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