Friday, 20 August 2010

The Commissar Comes to Canada

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The Jaworski family fled Poland in 1984 and came to Canada to enjoy freedom, something that the Communists denied them in their homeland. The last ten years, the Jaworskis, Marta and Lech, have been hosting an annual Liberty Summer Seminar on their land, an event sponsored by the Institute for Liberal Studies, a registered charity in Canada.

Seventy-two Americans and Canadians paid $125 ($75 for students) to attend the seminar and learn more about our heritage of freedom.  It was a way for the couple to help make people aware of the preciousness of our most fundamental right. 

Not everyone in Canada seems to like the celebration of freedom. Municipal officials have now charged the couple with violating a zoning offense under the Clarington Municipal Code and the Jaworskis, for this serious crime, each face a $25,000 fine, a total fine of $50,000.  Peter Jaworski, the couple’s son, had met with city health officials and, he thought, he had addressed their concerns by installing three portable toilets and having the food all catered. 

Scott Reid, a Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, attended the seminar. Reid expressed surprise and concern that Clarington would suddenly, after nine years of Liberty Summer Seminar events at the Jaworski spread, would now decide to prosecute the couple for alleged offenses. “I don’t see how the public interest has been harmed. This is a real injustice.” Reid said.

Peter Jaworski drew eerie similarities to this sudden government interest in shutting down the Liberty seminars and the behavior of thuggish Communist officials in their homeland: “It’s an outrage that we’re hosting an event celebrating the freedoms we have in Canada, that we didn’t have in Poland from which my family fled, and the municipality decides to stomp down on my parents” and Marta called the action a “taste” of what the couple had endured in Communist Poland, noting that “It is a feeling to be hunted. They come in uniforms ....” and then Marta started to weep.

Clarington officials were unavailable for comment, and city elected officials were also silent about the action taken against the Jaworskis. Was the action simply the common combination of bureaucratic incompetence, government officials with too much time on their hands, and meddling neighbors who wanted to stir up some trouble? Or was it something more sinister — a calculated attempt to warn anyone in Canada who wants to celebrate liberty is not being “politically correct”?

One thing is certain: The Jaworski family, which recognizes the malodorous stench of totalitarian oppression, and who happily believed that they had escape that when they secreted themselves past the Iron Curtain, now feel that Canada today, more and more, is like Poland twenty-six years ago.