...obstreperous, middle-aged white guys...
When MOE officers Whiting and Hutt arrived, they were confronted by an enthusiastic but peaceful crowd that blocked their entry to the premises. Hutt spoke to the Thompsons and told them that under the Environmental Protection Act he had the right to enter the property and conduct an inspection of the facility.
"We have the legal right to come onto this property," said Hutt.
Doug Thompson disagreed. He said the Crown Land Patent grant gives him the same rights as a First Nations person on a reserve, and he had the right to deny his entry.
Not all land is covered by a land patent, but the OLA suggests that the often-ancient documents do apply across Canada and the OLA has been working to build resources to help landowners exercise their rights.
"They say they have the right to come on to our property and I say they don't," Thompson said.