Tag Archives: Ministry of Natural Resources

Protecting the grey rat snake in Ontario

From “letters” section Frontenac News  8 March 2012:

Recently, the Ontario Ministry of Natural resources (MNR) proposed new regulations to protect the gray rat snake. These regulations include three levels of exclusion zones around the snakes’ habitat reaching out as far as one kilometre from their known haunts. And just in case if you forgot how the MNR works, these regulations will restrict or prevent what you can do on your private property without compensation if a gray rat snake is found within 1000 meters of your land.

But what many people don’t know is the way that the MNR determines whether a species should be protected or not. A committee, all of whose members receive handsome per diems, looks at five criteria to determine whether a species in Ontario should be protected. However the committee and MNR do no research or studies themselves, but rely on information provided by the federal government. Continue reading



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MNR drops charges against Mark Tijssen over backyard pig slaughter

Michael Schmidt, with Mark Tijssen and former Landowner Association president Jack McLaren

Michael Schmidt’s introduction: 

This is an interesting and not really surprising development. Allan Ryan was also there the lawyer arguing on the behalf of the MNR. What is also interesting that in this case no powerful lobby group pushing for punishment at all cost is in the background. Pork is not supply managed. The waste of energy, the waste of time, the waste of resources is appalling to say the least. Continue reading


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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!  Continue reading


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Opening round in MNR and Grey Bruce Health Unit appeal of raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt’s Jan. 2010 acquittal

Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt (right) shares a night lunch with visiting American raw milk reporter David E. Gumpert, in his farmhouse kitchen, under the watchful eye of filmmakers' cameras on the eve of his acquittal in January of 2010. That acquittal is now being appealed.

Judge Paul Kowarsky’s January 2010 acquittal of raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt has gone a long way toward legitimizing raw milk in Ontario. Subsequent to that decision, which was a year in the making, Michael Schmidt has been busy traveling around the continent speaking to groups of farmers and citizens who share concerns about raw milk, food freedom and the role of government. Continue reading

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Much ado about 40 lbs of pig meat

Received today from raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt:

The Show Goes On………….and On

The seemingly never-ending saga of Regina vs Mark Tijssen for sharing home-slaughtered pork with a friend moves into a new phase on Friday February 18 at 3pm. A Judicial Pre-Trial will be held in Courtroom # 8 of Ottawa’s Elgin Street courthouse in front of Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice Lise Maisonneuve. The outcome is expected be a trial date for Tijssen. Continue reading


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Pig-sharing amateur butcher of Carlsbad Springs, Mark Tijssen, featured in Macleans magazine

Macleans magazine has picked up the story of the Ottawa-area man who was charged by the Ministry of Natural Resources for slaughtering a pig and sharing it with his friend. From the story by Tom Henheffer, Dec. 16, 2010:

As it appears on the Macleans website

Four squad cars squealed into Mark Tijssen’s yard with their lights blazing, just after dark on a cold November night last year. Tijssen, who was having dinner with his nine-year-old son at the time, politely showed the officers around his Ottawa property before being charged with several crimes under the Ontario Food Quality and Safety Act (OFQSA), including killing uninspected animals and distributing meat without a licence. It was all because he had slaughtered a pig and given a friend some of the meat. “I didn’t set out to be an activist or a revolutionary—I grew up on a farm,” says Tijssen, 48, a Canadian Forces major. “There was no need for this.” Continue reading

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“Drop the pig and put your hands in the air” — National Post on Mark Tijssen

Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director Karen Selick wrote this story for the National Post:

Mark Tijssen, the amateur butcher of Carlsbad Springs, with his sons. Landowner photo.

Taking away every Canadian’s right to butcher.

When a responsible citizen shared freshly slaughtered pork with a friend, the government sent in armed officers.

The maxim “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” made sense back in the days when the only kind of acts that were illegal were genuine crimes that caused palpable harm to innocent victims: murder, rape, theft, etc. Continue reading


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