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tdc's Randy Hillier Interview - "One on One"

On February 25, 2006 to ratify the founding constitution of the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA)
and to put in place its first elected executive - Randy Hillier

Randy Hillier was born in Ottawa in 1958 and has lived in Lanark County for 22 years. He is a licensed construction electrician. He has a degree in electrical engineering technology and worked for eight years as a project manager with the federal government. Randy Hillier lives in Carleton Place Ontario.

Hillier is the founder and president of the Lanark Landowners Association and has assisted in creating the Glengarry Landowners,  Hastings County Property Rights Association and the Leeds & Grenville Landowners Association. 

Randy Hillier is instrumental in the support and creation of: The West Carleton Rural Association, Dundas Stormont Landowners' Association, Durham, York, Victoria Landowners, Ontario Property & Environmental Rights Alliance, The West Carleton Rural Association, Milton Rural Residents Association, Water Watch Association, Voices of Central Ontario, Prescott Landowners Association, Simcoe County Landowners Association, Committee to Free Flamborough; The Carleton County Landowners Association...

Presently Randy Hillier sits as an Independent MPP representing the riding of Lanark - Frontenac - Lennox and Addington in the Ontario Legislature.

On March 4, 2022 Randy Hillier announced that he was leaving politics.

On March 31, 2006 tdc's FarmGate Editor and Publisher Joe Lor interviewed by telephone Randy Hillier.
tdc's FarmGate wanted to find out a little more about the philosophy of this interesting man who
 has stirred up both the rural and urban communities against the actions of the bureaucracy. 

The interview lasted for one hour.

 Prior to the interview Randy was e-Mailed eight questions for consideration to answer. After the interview
the questions and answers were sent to Randy in order that he could have an opportunity to assure that
what would appears in this web page was accurate. The following is what he sent back for publication here.

1. In 2003, you wrote in the Le Quebecois Libre " The progressive abandonment of private choice and individual rights in Canada by our government is frightening. Is anyone keeping track of the score in this game of individual liberty versus collective security?"

In your opinion, is there a line between private choice, individual rights and government control based upon the protection of these individual rights? And if so, how do you define that line?

Hillier - Rights are another term for freedoms. However, Rights are recognized and enumerated in law ...

First we have to recognize that there are events and property that are legal and illegal.. For example growing and using marijuana or committing a robbery is illegal. Do we have the right or freedom to do things that are illegal.... the answer is obvious. Because the Laws are created to reflect a community’s ethical standards and morality. Illegal activities ought to be repugnant and offensive to the communities sense of ethics, morality and Just, for all.

However We do have the legal right and freedom to do what we want with our own legally obtained property. We also have the right and freedom to use and enjoy that property as long as our use and freedom does not harm or interfere with the freedom and rights of others.

The line that defines private choice, individual rights and government control is dictated by common sense, good judgment and the reasonableness of the community. And we can see from the action of the landowners that where the government is drawing this line is objectionable to many of the people in rural Ontario and also to many of the people in urban Ontario

Governments were created to prevent injustice. When bureaucracies draw the line that creates injustice and restrict or infringe upon individual rights that do not interfere other people - then they have drawn the line in the wrong place.

2. Canadian marketing boards seemingly have provided some economic stability for the farmers, and what I think you are purporting is a freer market system based upon a more supply and demand economic model. If we disband the present marketing board system for some present commodities, will the Canadian agriculture economic base as we know it survive?

Hillier - I would challenge this statement “provided some economic stability for the farmers”; we have seen in every commodity where there is a marketing board that there has been a decline in both the number of producers and also the amount of products produced. (Click here to obtain Ontario Landowners’ Association (OLA)- Discussion paper - "Finding profits on Canadian farms" )

Since 1981, we have lost 38,000 dairy farmers in Canada. Tobacco farmers, from 1990 – 2005 have been reduced from 4700 to 500 ... In these two instances and others, there has only been the stability of decline.

Marketing boards have had a significant role in Canadian Agriculture... but these boards are not achieving the objectives that they set out to achieve. These objectives were in part to expand and increase opportunities in the market place for producers of farm commodities and insure profitability.

When they started out, they did achieve objectives.... but since the early 90's the marketing boards have failed.

I believe that the answer to this question is firstly to recognize that there is a big problem. Secondly, producers must have freedom of choice to belong or not to belong to the marketing system and not make it mandatory as it is now.

Marketing boards are government legislated monopolies, and I have never seen any historical evidence of a monopoly that is efficient, effective and accountable.

We have created so many rules for farmers and rural landowners that we are strangling the people with the rules that were created to protect them.

I have never advocated to disband the marketing boards, however I do demand they achieve their original stated objectives, and correct their failing so they provide value to farmers.

Will the Canadian agriculture economic base as we know it survive?

It is not surviving today - it is in its death throes.

3. In the beginning, you have said that the Rural Revolution was about land rights for people who owned their own land. Could you comment, how far you would go on issues of privacy and uses of land for what could be perceived as illegal activates such as the use of land to grow marijuana, other illegal activities or producing products that are not
to the standards of production as deemed fit by the Health Units?

Hillier - The rural revolution is not about land rights - it is about private property rights and peoples rights and freedoms - it is about people’s property that they obtained by an individual’s industry and motivation. Property is not limited to land but includes, tractor, cow, barn, house, car, land,… etc

To place this in context... there is no such thing as an absolute freedom or right. There are limitations on all freedoms and rights. These limitations are governed by the common sense reasonableness of common people. And are accepted an individuals rights cannot do not harm to another's freedoms or rights.

An example is my freedom of speech . I can say whatever I choose as long as I am not defamatory in what or how I say it. Unless of course, what I say is truthful. And if I am accused of breaking a law, justice demands I be tried in a court of law, by a jury of common people - not by a bureaucrat who defines, interprets and executes the law.

Health Units have gone too far... their standards and enforcement are an affront to the sense of community and instead of protecting the community, they are destroying it. By removing an individual freedom to choose their own higher standard

RE: Health Units standards are far lower than the producer-based farmers’ markets... because they regulate not the safety of the product but the process on how you sell and display the products a producers sells. The producer must sell their products at a confidence level that a consumer will
buy and that is a higher level than that what is imposed by any health unit.

I feel that the best judge of goods sold at a farmers’ market is the consumer.

4. It is perceived by the public that there is a lack of trust between rural landowners and government authorities.
Government agencies say that they are only following legislation that was created by the politicians
and landowners say that they are over regulated by government authorities who are self-serving.
How would you resolve this issue?

Hillier -Yes, there is a growing sense that there is no trust.. and we see that by government bureaucrats not trusting the producers: and producers not trusting the bureaucrats.

Trust and respect are synonyms... Government does not respect or trust landowners and this is evident from the host of regulations. Trust and respect are traits that are earned and never is achieved through coercion, intimidation or legislation.

So, there is no respect - no trust, because it is not earned. Rural landowners are the best stewards of our land not bureaucrats . If I want to witness pollution, fifth and destruction of the environment, I will travel to the city.

We have to recognize that the best person is the one who closest to the activity or problem, and the one who has a vested interest in the activity or property. The owner or direct user is the one who knows best on how to
take care of their property, land and how to solve a problem. 

Example... An example is our native North Americans, who have for over 5000 years trapped and fished as a way of surviving. Then some bureaucrats in Ottawa or Toronto suggest that they knew better, and imposed rules and regulations as to hunting and trapping without consequence to the bureaucrats but certainly to the aboriginals.

The aboriginal who hunts and fishes everyday to survive is a far more knowledgeable than a bureaucrat who does not.

So what is the solution? Governments must enshrine the freedom to own, use and enjoy; and the opportunity to earn a living from our private property and this freedom cannot be infringed upon for public good without full fair and timely compensation.

5. At last years Conservative Convention, you had a motion passed asking for the party to put into their platform a policy for land rights for landowners. This issue seemed to have not got into the platform of the party during the last election. Could you comment on if the party is really interested in this issue or were they just doing lip service to
you on passing this motion?

Hillier - It was in the national debate in the last federal election, discussed on the televised debates, and Harper countered Martins assertion to remove the Not Withstanding clause, with the statement that the constitution ought to be opened up and include property rights.... It is not land rights it is property rights...

6. It is now perceived by the general public that agriculture as we knew it ( small producers) is on its way out and being replaced by large producers who have big bucks for the capital equipment needed to compete on the world market. In your opinion is there any future for the small producers and if there is, how can they be completive
against the likes of Loblaws, A&P and Walmart?

Hillier - See our Agriculture discussion paper ... "Finding profits on Canadian farms"

7. You seem to have a large following of persons from Ontario, do you and your organization have any ambition to expand geographically into the United States, Quebec, the Maritimes or Western Provinces?

Hillier - When we started this, we had no real ambition on where it would lead us.

However on March 28th, We spoke at a meeting in the Pontiac region of Quebec on property and landowners issues. Our organization has provided assistance to landowners in Alberta, British Columbia and New Brunswick. Yes, we have had inquires from New York State and although it is not our goal for expansion, we will provide assistance to anyone around the world providing we have the means, abilities and resources to do it.

8. There seems to be a split camp in Ontario for farmers who want to lobby Queens Park and Ottawa. One is your organization who gets lots of press and the other is the OFA. Your organization has been criticized for being too public and vocal.

Could you comment on what successes your organization has in changing government policy over the past three years vs that of the OFA?

HillierThis landowners association is not just for farmers... we welcome anybody, campgrounds, loggers, small businesses and the private resident we do not divide ourselves. However we recognize there is a need for many many groups Kiwanis, Lions, Chamber of Commerce etc I welcome other associations or groups.

The only way to have one group that represents all people is when we become clones or robots.

All groups have all their own unique styles and interests... but there is none so unique in style or in effectiveness as the landowners.

Our greatest success is a change in thinking and people taking ownership and recognizing their obligations in participating in democracy.

When we started the words apathy and complacency were the dominate mindset in rural Ontario with regards to dealing with government. These traits no longer dominate the rural landscape.

People in the Landowners are motivated and empowered to correct and fix the problems government creates.

There is far more to voting than casting a ballet every four years for democracy to function.

People must be involved, engaged and participate all the time.

The only way people will participate is if they feel their participation is worthwhile and their efforts provides benefit to their well being.

And we as an organization have shown it to be worthwhile.

Randy Hillier
President, Ontario Landowners Association
RR 3 Perth On
K7H 3C5
Tel 613-267-6661
Tel 613-257-7968
Fax 613-267-6932

Randy Hillier will be on Focus Ontario with Sean Mallen on Global TV, Saturday February 27, 2010 at 6:30PM. The programme will be re-aired at 7:00AM on Sunday, February 28. The topics of discussion will include the shut down of the Xstrata smelter in Timmins, changes to the Mining Act, the Liberal Far North Act and the Ring of Fire.


Some Links

e-Mail Addresses

Randy Hillier Addresses the Ontario Legislature  - Hansard
December 13, 2007 - .pdf format
Randy Hillier Election Campaign Web Site Randy Hillier
Randy Hillier announces his retirement as President of the Ontario Landowners’ Association (OLA) - pdf format  
It’s Official: Hillier heads Ontario Landowners  
Rural Revolution Photo Essay - Brockville Oct. 5, 2006  
Farmers' Markets Fight Back - Ottawa Citizen Sept 25, 2005  
Ottawa Sun Tue, May 17, 2005 "Farmers fired up for rally"  
'Rural revolution' hits T.O. - Ottawa Sun Randy Hillier

Voices: Farmers' Protest - Toronto Star - March 9, 2005

Premier Hon. Dalton McGuinty

Ontario Farmers Drive Protest To Queen's Park - CTV News Staff

Agriculture - Hon. Steve Peters

Protesting Farmers Sow Traffic Chaos -Toronto Star

Natural Resources - Hon. David Ramsay

Farmers Combine Forces

Environment - Hon. Leona Dombrowsky

All Four One Rural revolution: Stop the Destruction Convoy 4


The Organization for Rural Revolution


The Rural Economy, Caught In The Line Of Fire -Randy Hillier 


Zero Tolerance = Zero Thinking = Zero Freedom - Randy Hillier


Water Watch Association


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