The Balm Beach Nightmare

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Appeasement & Cowardice, Balm Beach, CANACE, Headlines, Jeff's Blogs, Land claims, OPP, Private Prosecution

June 11, 2010

By Jeff Parkinson

On the sandy shores of Georgian Bay, Balm Beach offers spectacular sunsets, superb restaurants, bountiful amenities, and the chance to see some maniacs commit arson, vandalism, and assault without fear of the ever vigilant OPP.

John Marion and his family moved to a beautiful beach front home in Tiny Township for the same reasons that anyone else buys a house on the beach, but their dream home was turned into a nightmare by a group of juvenile minded thugs, and the OPP, all over a fence.

Mr. Marion’s property extends to the waters of Georgian Bay, and as anyone who has ever owned property knows, he can be held liable for injuries sustained on his land by beach goers. If for example a group of teens decided to get irresponsibly drunk and build a fire on his property, and one were to be injured as a result, Mr. Marion would be liable as it is his property.

Trespassers were a relatively minor issue in the early days, but once a pub opened up a patio next to his home, Mr. Marion had a new kind of rowdy, littering group to deal with so he built a privacy fence to keep the party goers away from his house. For unknown reasons, the patrons decided to regularly climb over his fence, and invade the privacy of his family.

The reaction from the public to the smaller fence included vandalism, someone digging large holes with a backhoe over their section of the beach, and threats including a .22 calibre bullet left in an envelope on their doorstep. Although one might assume that some school kids were behind this that is not the case.

The fence was eventually extended to keep litterbugs, drunks, and people with the gall to threaten and harass them off of the small strip of private beach. There is a nearby public beach that everyone still has access to, but that’s not good enough for some locals who believe themselves entitled and above the law.

A neighbour, Roger Neil admitted to shoving feces in Marion’s face, and is alleged to have encouraged others to harass the family. Speaking about the assault with feces, he told Sun Media “It felt great”. Marion took this guy to court several times in an effort to get a peace bond on him, but the judge refused. Neil was on another occasion arrested and charged for attacking Mr. Marion while he sat in an OPP cruiser.

A citizens group called “preserving the use of balm beach” has been formed by locals who believe their right to walk where they want to supersedes the laws which allow property owners to protect themselves and their land. They’re claiming to have color of right on the beach which is the same excuse the likes of the Mohawk Warriors used to illegally occupy property and extort money.

See our report Legalized myths of illegal occupations for more info on color of right.

In an effort to resolve their conflict with the fence, some local thugs resorted to setting it on fire. Those who did attempt to verbalize their displeasure did so with a sign on the beach calling Mr. Marion an “asshole” and one calling him a “tererist” then testified that God had told him to put up the signs.

Another attacked it with a chainsaw while being cheered on by spectators during the Canada Day weekend of 2008. In fact the fence has been a constant target of vandalism and arson which the OPP have failed to stop despite a few token arrests. In a Toronto Star article from July 2008, Chief Insp. Rick Philbin of the OPP whined “Do you know, we’ve been down here 100 times in the past three months”

I’m sure our hearts are all breaking for the OPP officers who have to respond to crimes and get paid for it.

That article wasn’t about the fires, but an assault on John Marion and his son Greg who defended themselves against a teenager that someone sent in to cause trouble, and were arrested and charged. Trespassing laws are quite clear. A property owner has the right to use reasonable force to remove a trespasser, and to defend themselves.

Judge Jon-Jo A. Douglas agreed when he found the Marion’s not guilty and chastised the thugs in the community in an extremely strongly worded 25 page ruling. In the past 2 years, I have seen many court rulings, created a few, and never seen anything like this. It reads in part;

“I have found the accused not guilty, but before leaving this case, which, I gather, is one of others winding its way through the criminal justice system, I feel compelled to comment on “this very disturbing situation.

“It is very apparent that, out there, there are some who do not like that the Marions have decided to build these fences.

On one of the days this court sat on this matter, it was noted that someone had posted a sign on the beach indicating that some ‘asshole’ was to go on trial today – a reference counsel for the Marions reasonably took as a direct reference to his clients and this case; such conduct is contemptible, and possibly contemptuous.

There have been numerous other incidents of trespass, vandalism and assault referenced in the evidence.

“The community of persons, who oppose the Marions, be they individuals or those with commercial interests, and those who lead that opposition into lawlessness really have only three legitimate choices.

“The first would be to accept the situation for what it appears to be on the evidence before me: the legitimate attempts of a property owner to enforce the rights of a property owner against those who seek to ignore them.

“The second is to mount a challenge, in court, to the status or nature of the Marions’ property rights- the current authority of which I am aware, the Boundaries Act Order, was litigated after notice, was contentious, and was determined in the Marions’ favour.

“The third option is to purchase the Marions’ property, either privately or through some fair expropriation procedure.

“The fourth option is illegitimate; it would be to continually break both Provincial property law and Federal Criminal law, by doing, or aiding and abetting, or counselling and inciting or conspiring with others to break those laws- that is simply unacceptable.

“To the others in the community who may take little note of this particular piece of beach front, you must nonetheless support not only the rule of law, but the known civility of rural communities such as yours.

“You thus must take action to assist the police in identifying either those breaking these laws or those encouraging others to break these laws. You must encourage those law breakers to cease their cowardly lawlessness and pursue lawful means

“If consideration is not given to these points, no one in the Province will want anything to do with the increasingly lawless community of Balm Beach and its value will be set accordingly”

Even the judge thought the thugs were cowards.

The sort of vandalism, arson, intimidation, and harassment that has taken place at Balm Beach is much like an amateur hour version of what the Mohawk Warriors did to Caledonia. In fact they even have a little chat board set up for themselves where they can anonymously pat each other on the bum for a job well done.

CANACE has become involved, and will remain involved until the lawlessness is brought to an end. The process of laying private charges against those responsible for this has already begun in court in Barrie, and there are a number of charges looming for those in positions of authority who have chosen to ignore what is right for what is easy at Balm Beach.

There was a time when I believed that the OPP were honest and respectable, then a time when I believed that their selective enforcement was all about race, and now the sad realization that they’re willing to sacrifice justice for appeasement of extremists apparently any time that the public is not watching.

I would love to be proven wrong and have at least some of my faith in our police restored, and I would wager that the majority of OPP officers would love to do so, but we seem to live in a degenerating society that tolerates this kind of thing.

Looking at the hell that has been made of the lives of this family by a handful of people with a sense of entitlement, it’s sad to see that simple concepts such as law and order have gone so wrong.

Everyone has the right to protest anything they wish, but we do not have the right to break laws we may consider inconvenient in the process. The OPP have the right to use discretion in how they deal with these situations, but they don’t have the right to pick a side to favor.

A complete listing of media stories about Balm Beach can be found at

UPDATE June 15 2010 – In just a few short days, this post has been viewed over 2500 3600 times, and the hits are still coming. You can be sure that exposure is the last thing the government and OPP want for this story, so thanks to those who are making it happen.

  1. Simon says:

    I am sure the legalities of where specifically the fence is have been reviewed – but it is my understanding that you cannot “own” property below the high water mark – and you certainly cannot fence it off, or restrict public access to a beach. Maybe I stand to be corrected…….?

  2. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    Were that the case Simon, why would a permit ever have been approved to build it, and why in the years since then would the local government and or OPP not have tried to get them to take it down?

    With all of the bad publicity that this has brought to the area, I’m sure someone (if nobody else then the judge who reviewed the situation) would have ruled the fence unlawful if they could.

    Having said that, even if the fence were unlawfully built (which the evidence I’ve seen suggests it was not) that’s no excuse for the astounding behaviour of its opponents.

    Disliking something such as a fence is no more an excuse for lawlessness then a fabricated land claim.


  3. Aaron says:

    Public has to realize that Canadian law leaves vast space for running people off the land.

    Take for example dumping, which I am always seeing around the areas where development is about to begin. Someone systematically dumps garbage onto the farmers land along the roads, thus forcing them to sell sooner and cheaper.

    Running people off the land is in my opinion the most disgusting plague of society, where property rights are not protected.

    Or take eminent domain and right of way, where government comes and takes away any chunk of land they see fit taking.

    All these issues are connected with the topic of the original post. Canada lacks property rights mentality and I am very pessimistic about the prospects of that right ever being enshrined in Charter.

  4. Iain says:

    Actually Simon is dead wrong. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on this way back in the 70’s (Walker versus Attorney General of Ontario) Unless there is an existing shoreline road allowance or some other condition; the title holder owns right to the water’s edge.
    To date, all related court cases have reflected this.

  5. […] The Balm Beach Nightmare June 2010 4 comments 3 […]

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