David Shanahan: How would you introduce the party? And where do you stand in ways that you consider a viable alternative to the other parties?
Mark Snow: I’m currently the leader of the party, which has been around since 1975. Libertarians stand for less government, more individual rights, more choice and freedoms. In regards to your education, public health care services, the ability to run your business free, with minimal regulations instead of the maximum regulations that have been applied to this province and businesses and people for the last 45 years, basically. Liberty means property rights, both in yourself, your business, your land, your ability to earn a living. In the last two years, the pandemic has exposed two very big issues that I noticed: one, the fragility of the supply chain system, and to the thought process that people actually thought they had freedoms and rights in Canada under our charter. And we’ve learnt that those are available to be taken away at the whim of government at any time. So that has actually increased the amount of people looking for liberty.
David Shanahan: What would be your party’s policy in terms of the location of this proposed prison and the need for it in the first place?
Mark Snow: Well, first off, from a political party standard, Steve Clarke has absolutely failed the constituents of this riding and failed to engage in the consultation process so that is disrespect to every taxpayer and citizen within this riding. That’s the first fundamental problem. You’re supposed to communicate for the people. This is not the place for a prison. This is a place for this community and the province of Ontario to send people to learn how to do agriculture. So in that sense, it makes absolutely no sense to destroy the character, nature, of this beautiful rural setting with a prison. Third thing is, that at the end of the day, the social supports that need to be in place for a prison exist in Ottawa. They don’t exist in Kemptville. I think the most disturbing thing, though, is the fact that he has not consulted with any of the council, with any, at least as far as we know at this point. There’s been no consultation with the people. We don’t want it. It’s simple as that. It’s not the place for it. It should be on the outskirts of Ottawa where those services are readily available, social services to support those leaving, health care services. It’s all going to be a huge tax on this community and we just don’t need it. We believe in what’s called victimless crimes, and half the people that are currently in jail are in there because they’ve done something that affected nobody, but broke the law. In other words, a victimless crime. If you decide to smoke a joint in your own house, that’s a victimless crime. But they can come in and arrest you for it. And we have a lot of people that are incarcerated for victimless crimes.
Full Interview ….
David Shanahan: Well, given that and again, going back to your party’s position on individual rights and so on, how do you see society’s role in determining what is unacceptable behaviour or criminal behaviour, or any of those issues in terms of holding one person’s rights over against another?
Mark Snow: So a simple libertarian principle is this non-aggression principle. In other words, I will live in this world and I will not aggress upon you in any way, shape or form whatsoever. That includes property rights, the rights to own a business. So if you want to own a business and had it open the whole pandemic, you should have had that right to do it. So non-aggression principle says that I will not aggress upon your private property, self, personal land, business, education, health care, and you should too. And if you do that to me, then that gives me the right to take you to court in that sense. Government now reaches into our bedrooms, reaches into our children’s lives, reaches into every aspect of our lives, and is trying to control everything that we do. And we want to reduce the government, reduce the regulations and introduce more options. That’s how you go and that’s how we have to be. Otherwise, the state is going to keep growing and controlling more of what we do, how we live, how we educate our children, how we get our social services, how we get our land rights protected. You know, I’d love to be able to raise 200 chickens here, but I can’t, and sell them because of the regulations that are in place. Why don’t we have more farm gate sales? These are the kind of regulations that we need to do to make earning a living more sustainable than regulating it to the point where only the big players can play.
David Shanahan: So how do you see your role as an MPP in relation to working with municipalities and their regulations, which often dictate things like you’re talking about in terms of regulation?
Mark Snow: Well, in a short answer, if I had a majority government, what I would do is I would eliminate the Municipal Act. I would eliminate the Conservation Act, eliminate the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, and remove the conservation authorities to be able to aggress upon people privately on their lands. So basically we will decentralise government back down to regional control pretty much pre-Mike Harris days. So in other words, North Grenville residents in this riding would have representation via their local MPP, where they can bring their concerns to, who will be directly accountable to the people of North Grenville. That’s what we want to do. Decentralise Queen’s Park power. Move it back to regional authorities. Health care, education, property rights. We are the taxpayers. We should have representation by vote and by representation by taxation.
David Shanahan: Well, the other big issue, therefore, around here, and in fact, right across the province and right around the world, it seems, has been the issue of housing and the need for housing and affordable housing. What is the best way, from your party’s point of view, of encouraging the development of proper housing, good housing and affordable housing for those who can’t afford the market as it is at the moment.
Mark Snow: There’s a whole litany of things that I could go into in regards to the government inflationary monetary policy. But let’s just start with the simplest things. Government should not be in the business of creating social housing, and I mean that wholeheartedly and honestly. But not to say that we shouldn’t do it. We have to work within the system that we have. The first thing that we have to do is get out of the way. So eliminate the $25,000 fee for building permits. Eliminate all these different fees and services that would allow the creation. Even if North Grenville wanted to build $1,000,000 worth of houses, there’d be about anywhere from $100,000 to $125,000 worth of access fees. Get the government out of that. We used to have Kiwanis and Shriners and all these different places that used to manage these, the social housing issue and a lot of the social welfare problems. They’ve all been eliminated for corporate charity and they don’t exist anymore. We need to reform those organisations, and those organisations after they’re built can be in charge of looking after those places. The other thing is, it’s great that we build these things, but nobody really thinks about the long term cost of funding and upkeep and maintenance of these properties, which constantly pushes on the taxation of the residents to provide these. We should be doing more fund raising and more community effort is the one thing that I’ve learnt since I moved here in September 2020.
I agree with your comments regarding preserving the agricultural nature of this area, versus erecting a prison.
The time has come to protect and restructure governance and give back to the people the power to affect change and outcomes.