Friday, October 26, 2007

Haldimand "The Verdict is In".

Well the County Lawyer was very busy this week settling a major lawsuit against Haldimand County and Mayor Trainer that was filed by the Mayor's former administrative assistant.

A report by the County's lawyer will be on the agenda for this coming Council in Committee meeting on Monday, and no doubt will be headline news in the local papers on Wednesday. Or maybe not, this may go behind closed doors and we will never know the details. If the papers are silent on Wednesday, we need to demand this information, this is our "tax dollars" being spent here!

The county lawyer decided that "4" lawyers and approximately "6" days in court was not worth fighting for. So once again we see our "hard earned" tax dollars being handed over to someone else. Actually I need to correct myself here, "Council" decided to not take this battle to a "Court of Law". But that is not new, we have seen this before.

What is wrong with this County? Do we have no 'Backbone"?

Remember the "Burke" "Reports", the first report is public, the second one is not quite public yet, (although I along with I am sure a few other people do have a copy of the second report) costs the taxpayers $25,000.00. At the time of the "Burke" investigation our Council decided to be Judge and Jury and deemed Mayor Trainer as being guilty of "Harassment". So thanks to the wisdom of our Council Members we were just bitten on the ass (again) big time!

Remember the "Haldimand County Hydro" mess, this cost the taxpayers approximately $500,000.00 dollars, for council's procedural techniques!

I do believe it is time to replace the county lawyer, but that wouldn't be fair would it, he doesn't make the decisions, he follows the wishes of our "Elected Council".

It will be interesting to hear Mayor Trainers take on this. Maybe now that this is a done deal, her Council will let her be privy to "all" the closed door sessions regarding this court case that she was not "privy" too. That's right you heard that right, all this time the Mayor was not even "privy" to "any information", even though she was named in the case. So in saying that. Mayor Trainer had no "say" in whether to take this to court or settle out. This is ridiculous!

Mayor Trainer has stated all along that she was innocent, and she didn't even have an "opportunity" to prove this in a "Court of Law"! I hope that council will be "paying" for the Mayors lawyer, but I doubt that as well, she had to pay about $4000.00 dollars to her own lawyer while this investigation was going on and council decided "not" to pay her lawyer's bill even though council members can be reimbursed for this. But Council did decide at the time to pay the lawyers bill for her "administrative assistant", and if my memory serves me right that was about $6000.00 dollars.!

Imagine if "you" were being sued, you spent a considerable amount of money preparing your defense, and then were denied your right to prove your innocence! I would not stand for that, would you?

Something is wrong with this picture.

Haldimand "Do we Really have By-Laws".

Wednesday October 24th edition of the Regional News, Bill Jackson did a report called "By-laws to follow proper procedure, says Councillor". This article is about the illegal smoke shops on Hwy #6 just outside of Caledonia on land that belongs to Six Nations, but is "not" part of the Reserve. Now according to Councillor Sloat, these illegal smoke shops "wouldn't" be subject to Haldimand by-laws! So the obvious is that nothing has been done by council according to Sloat's statement.

Interestingly enough, last Saturday beside "Doug's Smoke Shop" (October 20th) Councillor Grice stated the county "is doing" something about the illegal smoke shops. He wouldn't exactly say what, but basically told us that it was in the works, and individuals have been notified. When we asked him if this notice was in writing, he was evasive....and said...hmmm.....! Grice explained to us that Haldimand County's by-law would enforce the "building" on the property only as it is in the jurisdiction of Haldimand County. The County has no authority or control over the selling of illegal cigarettes. The RCMP is responsible for "illegal cigarette sales", not the OPP.

So which one of these Councillor's is telling the truth? Or maybe the question should be, which Councillor is willing to tell the "public" the truth?

Now another interesting statement that Sloat made in regards to County by-law's is "It's not necessarily something that I totally agree with, but again it's the system and it's the way it is." What Councillor Sloat is referring to is the procedure of notification to the property owner that is in violation, and the fact that the property owner is given the opportunity to right their wrongs. What I find profound about Sloat's statement is that the "County" makes up their own by-laws, and is required by "Law" to enforce their by-laws!

So my question is; If the County is not enforcing their own "by-laws" are they not "breaking" the law?

So it looks like Doug Fleming should be preparing himself for a long haul, as it looks like he will not be visited by any by-law officer from Haldimand County in the near future.

My advise to Doug; buy more cigarettes, and make yourself a "Profit"!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Haldimand "It Seems We don't All Live by the Same Set of Rules"

Right or Wrong we don’t all live by the same rules in Haldimand County. That is certainly becoming very clear to me, and it is very disturbing.

Recently Doug Fleming, a resident of Caledonia has been pushing the limits of the law in Caledonia. For the past two weekends he has been selling illegal cigarettes from the back of his truck, I mean "illegal" in every way. He has no license or permits to sell cigarettes, yet he chooses to break the law in order to prove his point.

So you may ask what point is Doug trying to make? In my personal opinion the answer is simple, If they can do it, so can I! I’m not saying that it’s right, and if you speak to Doug he will honestly tell you he is "breaking the law".

So what makes a person like Doug take this kind of action? Well I can tell you from a personal point of view that sometimes a person has had enough, and feels that they need to make a stand. Sometimes your course of action may not be the right approach, but you feel that it is better then sitting on you ass and doing nothing! I believe this is what has happened to Doug.

Doug has witnessed "2" Smoke Shops open on HWY# 6 just outside of Caledonia the last six months, and states they are both illegal. But they carry on just the same. Doug feels that if he is arrested and shut down, then the other smoke shop owners will be arrested and shut down as well. His point is simple, but two wrongs do not make a right.

So last Saturday I spent the day with Doug and friends observing. I arrived at around 10:00am as Doug was just setting up shop on Argyle Street. Around 10:45 Doug made the decision to move closer into town, so we left and Doug set up his "Smoke Shop" in the parking lot right out front of the OPP Community Policing Office, located in the strip mall in Caledonia. Doug’s reason, to be more "visible", as the OPP officers were not paying any attention to his shop on Argyle St. Well his plan worked, not five minutes after setting up, Doug was approached by "5" OPP officers.

Without going into a lot of detail, Doug was told that selling cigarettes out of the back of his truck was illegal, and was asked to leave. He was not arrested, and he politely refused to leave.

Now one thing that I found very interesting was that Doug mentioned the news release from OPP officer Paula Wright. This news release was asking anyone in the public if they had any information about the "apparent" Smoke Shop that appeared on Argyle St. last week. Doug informed the officer, I am the "Smoke Shop" that this news release was talking about. None of the officers were aware of any "news release" regarding this situation, and obviously there was no direction given in case an officer was notified by a resident. Doug supplied them with a copy.

So my question would be, why would the OPP put out a news release if they were not really looking for information? Actually I am totally confused as to why this news release was even issued, as it seems according to the OPP officer that was speaking to Doug the selling of illegal cigarettes falls under the jurisdiction of the RCMP.

Doug will continue selling "illegal" cigarettes until something is done.

I am sure that Doug will eventually pay the price for what he is doing, but the ultimate question is;

Will he have made a difference?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Haldimand "I would like to Introduce you to an Amazing Woman"

I would like to introduce you to an amazing woman that I met a few months back. We have had many heartfelt conversations and she is certainly in my eyes "a very brave woman". She is passionate, caring, trusting and has done what most people on these types of boards never do, she is announcing who she is!

Judy operates a site that anyone can go on and "Have their Say". As we are in times of uncertainty here in Haldimand, it is nice to have a solid avenue to vent. I asked Judy to write a little bit about herself, so that I could assist in promoting this amazing site. I know that it was hard for Judy to write about herself, and that is why it took her a bit of time, Thanks Judy;

Hello Haldimands Unheard Voice

I have been a resident of the County of Haldimand for 40 yrs, all my life I have chose to live here raise my children here & grow my business here.

The events of the past 20 months have lead me to go out into my community even further and start dialogue with the residents.

I have come across some of the most tugging at your heart stories, that I couldn't help but try in the smallest way to help those people have a voice even it is a small voice.

I started a forum for people to sign up anonymously to be able to tell their stories, vent their frustrations, get the latest news & sometimes just laugh.

We sometimes aren't strong enough to face the public & that is okay, we get our strength from supporting each other in the whether it is in Caledonia or across Ontario.

Our posters are free to express their opinions & discuss the issues that are constantly on our minds these days.

The Occupation & Land Claims up & down the Grand are a problem for the Well being, Security, Safety & Economy for all who are effected.

Have your voice heard & support one another,

All welcome to Join

Chick66 (Judy Laszlo) Administrator - have your say Caledonia

Haldimand "A Residents Point of View"

The following is a comment that was posted on Haldimand "The Government Speaks". The individual did not post their name, but I figure if they already posted a comment I don't need to ask them permission to re-post their words.

As this site is called "Haldimands Unheard Voice", I have always been very willing to listen to what anyone has to say. The only thing that I have ever asked of anyone, is that they stay respectful.

The person who wrote this comment seems to be close to the issue, and maybe once they find that I have posted this as a main article, they will come forth, but that is not necessary.

The poster probably doesn't agree with everything that I post, as I don't necessarily agree with everything they have posted. But never the less we are all fortunate to live in a country where we don't get "shot" for speaking out.

So "thank you" "Anonymous" for your post.

I am very fortunate that I have so many people that post comments on my site, I appreciate every one of them.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Haldimand "The Government Speaks"":

From the notes printed above:

Ontario recognizes that municipal governments in the Haldimand Tract and the provincial government need to continue to work on mechanisms to consult the Six Nations community about land use decisions and development activity in the area.---------------------------------

What does this statement say to you?

To me that statement suggests exactly what it says - that The Corporation of Haldimand County (and other municipal governments in the tract) and the Provincial government need to consult with Six Nations on development.

Six Nations doesn't have veto power over development - that seems to be the clear position of the government. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why builders/developers are so afraid to speak to Six Nations. I am a firm believer in communication. Although the two sides may not like what the other has to say - it sure beats pretending that Six Nations doesn't exist and risk loosing everything while feigning "But I didn't know" or "the government didn't tell me".

I am sick and tired of listening to the builders and developers of this area talk about "the extortionists on Six Nations". But when you ask some of them if they have ever spoken to the Confederacy or Band Council directly they say either "no", or "I'm not talking to them", or "why should I have to get their permission?", or "why should I?" and so on and so forth.

They seem to be much happier complaining about all of the money that they are not making and all of the trades who are not working, than trying to actually find a way that may just set the ground work for a resolution to this mess.

Nobody is asking the builders, developers, Haldimand Council or the Provincial Government to just cave in and give Six Nations whatever they want.

Nobody expects "appeasement" to be the only answer - but that works both ways.

What has been very eye-opening for me through this whole ordeal, is just how many people demand that the townsfolk of Caledonia unite behind their developers and builders, demand that the residents back some ill conceived plan to March on the DCE, demand that anyone who doesn't live in "the zone" mind their own business and then condemn those same people for not doing anything to help.

Then there are those who "fear monger" with "you won't be able to afford your taxes", "you won't be able to sell your house", "you are going to end up living on leased land", "the government has abandoned you", "you are going to be kicked out of your home", "you are going to have to hand title to your deed over to Six Nations" - but they are the first people to criticize ANYONE who realizes that Six Nations is not some mythical invisible entity.

Instead, they counter with "bring in the army", "arrest the terrorists", "equality under the law", "the police are useless - don't trust them and don't let them come to your house if you call them for help"....etc. etc. etc.

What is any of that doing to help? How is any of that going to bring about any form of resolution?

I'll tell you what I think - It won't. I think that it is high time that people started working with the tools that we have and the cards that we've been dealt and FIND a way to move these issues forward for the betterment of everyone. And that needs to start with our councilors and mayor recognizing that this situation IS their responsibility in partnership with the community, provincial government, federal government and leadership of Six Nations, instead of acting like a bunch of spoiled 4 year olds who didn’t get the toy that they wanted for Christmas and complaining that they aren’t allowed at negotiations. So be it.

It doesn’t mean that they cannot constructively and effectively work to improve the environment of this County and it’s relationship with Six Nations.

They all need to start doing the jobs that they were elected to do. If they are unable or unwilling to do so – then they need to resign immediately and let those who can make that effort to do so in their place. Posted by Anonymous to Haldimand's Unheard Voice at October 19, 2007 8:00 AM

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Haldimand "The Government Speaks"

I originally posted the following as a comment on my last article. I felt that many are wanting some answers to some very simple questions, so I felt that this needed to be an article of it's own.

The following is a statement from Murray Coolican.


Lands Resolution Side Table Meeting – Oct 17, 2007

Recently, there have been a number of statements in the media by representatives of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute that have caused concern for homeowners, residents, developers and municipal leaders.

The establishment of Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Development Institute has the potential to help further dialogue amongst parties.

Ontario is responsible for land use matters in the province and has an effective system in place to exercise its jurisdiction. Ontario stands by its land title system and its authority, in co-operation with the municipalities, to make land-planning decisions and for municipalities to provide building permits for development.

Ontario recognizes that municipal governments in the Haldimand Tract and the provincial government need to continue to work on mechanisms to consult the Six Nations community about land use decisions and development activity in the area. However, consultation does not mean a veto over development. Nor does consultation require developers to pay licensing fees or taxes to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute.

It has always been Ontario’s position that private property owners have valid titles to their properties even if there are disagreements between the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations and Canada about the surrenders of land in the past.

Any attempt by the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations to extract concessions or payments from private landowners as a condition for allowing development to continue on private property has no basis in Ontario's land use planning system.

Ontario and the federal government have both made it clear at the negotiation table that any settlement of Haudenosaunee/Six Nations’ grievances will not deprive landowners of their ownership of their land.

Assertions of jurisdiction need to be dealt with at the negotiations table as they have everything to do with the responsible resolution of land claims.

The federal government and the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations with the support of the province must work together on advancing our mutual interests and resolving differences.

Ontario does not dispossess property owners to achieve land claim settlements. There is a long-standing policy not to expropriate private property to settle land claims. Canada has the same policy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Haldimand "Are we Left to Fend for Ourselves?"

I don't like to be negative but you only have to read the papers this week to get a feel of how serious the situation is actually getting here in Haldimand County.

Here are some of the recent issues;

HDI was recently created to handle development within the Haldimand Tract (six miles on each side of the Grand River). the mandate of this new business is they will charge fees and demand permits for all construction on the said lands.

At Monday nights Council meeting, Council discussed a letter that they had received from the institute. To put it in a nutshell, the institute will not allow any construction in the Haldimand Tract without their permission. According to the Chronicle this week, Councillor Sloat denounced the letter as ridiculous, and stated "I think we are falling into the trap, to be quite frank, we're debating a letter that's been sent to us that implies that we should follow an illegal course. Why are we even talking about it?" Well I couldn't agree more with Councillor Sloat.

In an article in the Spectator today, HDI states that all developers within the Haldimand Tract require a permit from HDI, and development fees. Murray Coolican, Ontario's principle representative at the talks, quickly denounced HDI's authority. Interestingly enough HDI spokesperson Aaron Detlor stated that nothing will change because of Ontario's position. "The government can say what it wants to say," he said. "We know the development community is going to come to HDI and if they don't, there's not going to be any development".

Another new business opened in Caledonia last week. Doug's smoke shop opened last Saturday morning to protest two other smoke shops that are operating on Hwy #6 just south of Caledonia. He didn't have permits to open this business, but stated that the other two smokes shops operate without a permit so he didn't need one. Doug's smokes closed up around noon, as he ran out of smokes. Now what I find interesting is that the OPP did not lay any charges, Doug was expecting to be busted, but was not. Doug's smokes will be open for business again this weekend!

As the provincial election is now history, will the Province acknowledge Haldimand County? Well according to an interview with the Chronicle, Lorraine Bergstrand states "There's a very clear message here that we didn't get our message out, the message of what the Liberal Government can do in Haldimand and Norfolk," she said to supporters on election night. "This was a chance for Haldimand/Norfolk to move forward, but voters decided to hold onto the past."

Now is Bergstrand telling us something here? Will we be reprimanded because we didn't vote in a Liberal MPP? I thought this was a Democracy. So where are my tax dollars going?

What wasn't in the news this week. Two more business's closed in Dunnville this week, the Coffee & More and the Sleekit Badger, I believe that was a loss of about 15 jobs! Where is WalMart? Where is No Frills? Where is TSC?

As the frustration builds on all sides, you have to wonder what the future has in store for us in Haldimand County. It seems that we have all been left to fend for ourselves.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Haldimand "Unfinished Police Business"

It seems that Haldimand County is having problems securing a new police force. But that shouldn't have been a surprise to either Council members or Staff members of Haldimand County. I am sure that many of you remember when we went from Regional to OPP, that process was far more complicated than just sending out a few letters and asking another force to take over our services.

Haldimand County Staff states that according to the Police Service Act they can only contract a force that is adjacent to the Municipality. So in light of this they seemed to have had only two options, Niagara or Hamilton. I have done a bit of investigating this myself, but so far I have not seen the information that the County is talking about, so here is the link if you wish to research this yourself.

During the election campaign in 2006, a few candidates "promised" if elected that they would investigate the possibility of replacing the OPP here in Haldimand County. Now as far as promises go I would have thought that they would have done a little bit of investigating before they "promised" the residents anything on such a serious matter!

Now in saying that, there was one candidate that I know for a fact did investigate other options for policing in Haldimand County. Councillor Buck Sloat did in fact do his homework on this issue. In October of 2006, during the Ward 2 debate in Cayuga Councillor Sloat informed the residents he had already met with Chief Mullen of the Hamilton Police Department. As a result of Sloat's meeting with Chief Mullen, Hamilton was ready to take on policing in Haldimand County whenever we were ready. Now this never hit the newspapers, and most residents were not aware of this information. In fact I made a phone call to Mayor Trainer the next morning to ask about the details of this meeting with Chief Mullen, and she was totally unaware of these talks. So your guess is as good as mine.

My question is this, if in fact Councillor Sloat told the truth, what has changed since October 2006? The newspapers reported recently that Chief Mullen was "not" interested in taking on Policing in Haldimand County.

As we are already feeling a huge cash crunch in Haldimand due to the lack of "growth", and that did not just happen yesterday, why proceed any further with looking for a new Police Force? This is only wasting everyone's time, there are more serious issues in Haldimand County to deal with.

The fact is that the Province is paying for the OPP in Caledonia, so what are the real issues here for even proceeding on with this exercise.

If the County is going to proceed with any issue in policing it should be demanding that "6th" line be Policed!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Haldimand "This May Help You Decide on Oct. 10th"

For those of you that are still unsure of who is going to get your vote on October 10th, I thought this might help you. I came across this as I was looking for something else. This was read on Q107 last year. I changed a few words to reflect the Province of Ontario, and the year.

Although it is early for holiday greetings, I thought it was appropriate. Which Greeting would you send? The following may help you make that difficult choice on October 10th, if you are still undecided, Every Vote Counts!

For all my Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my Best Wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of other, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year of 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great. Oh, I don’t mean to imply that Ontario is necessarily greater than any other Province in Canada, nor is Canada the greatest county in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher to the wishee. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

For My Conservative Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. May the true meaning of Christmas be first and foremost in your thoughts and actions this coming year.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Haldimand "This is a Provincial Issue"

"We" the residents of Ontario should be demanding McGuinty and his government, be made accountable for this huge "price tag". These are "Our" hard earned tax dollars being spent. Maybe this is one of the reasons that McGuinty cannot scrap the "Health Tax", he did say that they need the money!

One thing that I just can’t understand is that McGuinty keeps telling us that the Native Land Claims in Haldimand is a "Federal Issue", well the way I see it from the figures below, this is most certainly a "Provincial Issue"!

At the all candidates night last night in Dunnville, both Lorraine Bergstrand (Liberal candidate) and Jan Watson (NDP candidate) still state that the Land Claims is a "Federal Issue", how can they state this, when again the tax dollars that have been spent are from the Provincial Kitty. I think they both need an education on what is really going on!

Toby Barrett on the other hand has stated on more than one occasion that the Land Claims issue here in Haldimand is the responsibility of "ALL" levels of government

Oct 02, 2007 10:53 ET

Alliance Estimates $290 Million Price Tag on Caledonia

While tensions continue to mount in the 579 day-old land dispute in Caledonia so do the rising costs. The Caledonia Citizens Alliance estimates that close to $290 million tax dollars have been spent on this ongoing battle and occupation with no end in sight.

These costs include: the purchase of the Douglas Creek Estates along with related expenses, $22.7 million; costs to assist businesses, the local municipality and residents $2.1 million, provincial staffing including wages for David Peterson and Jane Stewart, $3.3 million; policing, $145 million; and, all associated Hydro One costs such as replacement of the incomplete transmission line, $116 million.

"We are concerned that the Premier has been hiding many of the associated costs of this dispute from the Ontario taxpayers," says Ken Hewitt, spokesperson for the Alliance.

"McGuinty's accounting fails to take into consideration the astronomical OPP and Hydro costs that are a direct result of this crisis in Caledonia," continued Mr. Hewitt.

The Ontario Government has not yet released what it calls "other ongoing costs" and claims they are yet to be determined. Frank Stoneman, a local business owner and volunteer with the Alliance expressed his concerns, "This lack of information and accountability from the Provincial Government disturbs me. $290 million is $30 million more than the budget for the Ministry of the Environment in 2006.

It's a great deal of our hard-earned money."The land dispute began on February 28, 2006 over the Douglas Creek Estates property, a 40 hectare parcel of land that was being developed into homes. The Province of Ontario bought the land from the local developer and has been negotiating with the natives for the last nineteen months. Six Nations natives continue to occupy the site which boarders on a local subdivision and elementary school.

The Alliance expects Mr. McGuinty to come clean to the taxpayers with regard to the actual costs related to the situation in Caledonia.

Thanks to Ken Hewitt from the Caledonia Citizens Alliance for allowing me to post this article.
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Haldimand "The Second Building of Noah's Ark in 2007"

I received this in an e-mail today from a friend down the road, it is a different angle on politics, but a good one. So I thought I would share this with you.

In the year 2007, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Canada , and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard, but no Ark.

Noah!" He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Hydro One demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem.

There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the Ministry of the Environment ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization are checking the Visa status of most of the people who want to work. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, Revenue Canada seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?" "No," said the Lord. "The government beat me to it."