“Nearly seven years after his fight began—and more than two centuries after his family first moved to the farm—Meyers has no choice but to finally surrender.”
Excerpts, Macleans - (Canada) “In Frank Meyers’s eyes, the view from his dining room window is priceless. Literally. He can see the old wooden house where he lived as a little boy. The family barn, rebuilt with his talented hands. Rows and rows of sweet corn, sprouting from prime Ontario soil. No matter how many federal bureaucrats knocked on his door—or how much cash they offered to pay—the 85-year-old farmer refused, again and again, to sell his beloved land. As he likes to say: “You can’t eat the money.”
But as Frank Meyers learned today—in a heartbreaking moment he’d been dreading for years—you can’t stop the government, either. If the feds want your property (in his case, to build a state-of-the-art training ground for the Canadian military’s elite special forces commandos), fighting back is futile. “In other countries, they’re crushing you with bullets and guns and ammunition and tanks and explosives,” Meyers says. “Not in Canada. It’s pencil and paper here, and then they’ve got control.”
A senior military officer from CFB Trenton—joined, just in case, by members of the Ontario Provincial Police—visited the Meyers farm Tuesday morning to explain the inevitable next step. Effective immediately, for the first time in his life, Meyers has no legal right to step foot on “his” property. First thing Wednesday morning, the Department of National Defence will erect “No Trespassing” signs around the fence line, as contractors begin preliminary work on what will become the new headquarters of Joint Task Force 2. (Those “No Trespassing” signs would have gone up today, a military spokesman says, but the base is doing everything it can to be “sensitive” to Frank Meyers. “We are concerned about his emotions,” says Captain Christopher Daniel. “His condition is our top priority. We want to make sure he’s okay.”)
Meyers, of course, will never be okay. For a man who knows every square centimetre of his farm—and the rich history that defines it—today’s news could not be more devastating. “I’m going on 86 years old, and they’re harassing a man like me?” he says. “I haven’t done anything wrong and I’m not doing anything wrong. They’re just mad at me because I didn’t roll over and say: ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes.’ ”
Since the Harper Conservatives were first elected in 2006, they have proclaimed their plans to bring a specialized army unit to CFB Trenton, the country’s largest and busiest air force base. In 2009, Ottawa revealed that the incoming unit would be none other than JTF 2, Canada’s top-secret special forces squad, currently based on the outskirts of Ottawa. The move is the highlight of a massive base expansion project that will inject millions of dollars into the local economy (not to mention hundreds of heavily trained counterterrorism troops).
But as Maclean’s first reported, the plan didn’t sit well with a few local landowners, whose properties—unbeknownst to them—had been selected for JTF 2’s new 400-hectare home. “Our world has been crushed,” one owner said at the time. “Somebody somewhere has decided they want to move JTF 2, but did they ever take into consideration what that was going to do to other people? They drew a red line around these pieces of property, and ever since then everybody in there has been screwed.”
Angry or not, the 12 landowners were left with only two real options: sell now, or be expropriated later. One by one, they agreed to sell—until there was just one holdout left: Frank Meyers.” Full Story Here On Macleans