Retired Luskville farmer Georges Whelan has won his case against the Protection du Territoire Agricole du Quebec (CPTAQ), instigated by an infraction report on his farm property in 2008, as reported in the Pontiac Journal in August 2009.
After selling 101 acres of farmland on Smith Leonard Rd., the sale was deemed null by the CPTAQ, who claimed he had made an unauthorized separation of one part of the land, despite that subdivision having taken place in 1973.
Whilst removing farm equipment and personal effects from the property, Whelan received a notice from the inspector of the Municipality of Pontiac ordering him to clean up the debris. As a result of this notice, the CPTAQ became involved and the seemingly inconsistent separation was noticed.
At the final hearing in Gatineau on March 16th, Whelan’s property separation was legally recognised. “I am very happy and relieved,” remarked Whelan, but added: “The Municipal inspector exercises too much power. He can visit anyone’s property, looking around and taking photographs, without permission; rights not even a police officer has.”
Currently a call is circulating through the Municipality of Pontiac for an amendment to Bylaw 04 – 07, following several incidents where nuisance notices were served by an inspector without any complaints from neighbours. A couple have been ordered to remove a working freezer, operating on their deck but imperceptible from the road. Another man has been warned for storing viable building material son a lot following extensive renovations to his home.
As it stands, the bylaw defines a nuisance as ‘material and/or object which, by its nature or its illegal or abusive use, cause serious inconveniences or that can endanger public safety and/or security, the wellbeing of the community or the aesthetic of the building.
The description also includes an accumulation of earth, stones or other similar materials, or a building left in a dilapidated state.
The community is asked to attend the April 12 Pontiac council meeting to support the call for the amendment. An online petition may be viewed at www.sites.google.com/site/nuisancebylaw0407/home