May 29, 1995

For Immediate Release


"Whether rich or poor you need better protection from the power of government to take property."

Ottawa - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, introduced his Private Members Bill C-284 to strengthen protection for property rights in federal law. "As it now stands there is very little protection of a person's right to own, use and enjoy property. What little protection there is, is in the Canadian Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, the Bill of Rights is just a federal statute that can be overridden by any other federal statute; therefore, the property rights protection it offers is routinely ignored by the federal government," explained Breitkreuz.

Breitkreuz' Property Rights Bill would amend the Canadian Bill of Rights and add two new sections to the Constitution Act of 1867, thereby strengthening property rights in federal law. The bill does not intrude into areas of provincial jurisdiction; this was the major reason why property rights were not included in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If passed his bill would specifically guarantee that every person has the right to the enjoyment of that person's property and the right not to be deprived of their property unless the person is: (1) accorded a fair hearing, (2) is paid fair compensation, (3) the amount of that compensation is fixed impartially, and (4) the compensation is paid within a reasonable amount of time. Every person's property rights would be guaranteed in every law in Canada unless it is expressly declared by an Act of the Parliament that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian Bill of Rights. Adoption of a declaration of notwithstanding would require the votes of at least two-thirds of the members of the House of Commons.

"The right to own and use private property means the right to live unmolested by government," said Breitkreuz. "Many Canadians have trouble seeing what the lack of property rights has caused us and our society. Too many of us believe that democracy gives the government the ultimate authority to take away our fundamental rights and our property; however, this is just using democracy as an excuse."

"What we have in Canada is not a true democracy. We vote every four or five years to elect another bunch of tax and spend specialists who disregard our fundamental right to own and use property. But that's not what democracy is. Democracy is supposed to be a way of keeping government under control, not a way of legitimizing the confiscation of private property without due process of law and without fair and timely compensation. Voting should be a way of preventing government from taking our property. Instead, we have become addicted to using it as a tool for taking one another's wealth. I hope to improve democracy by strengthening property rights with this bill," concluded Breitkreuz.

For a copy of the bill and more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394