From Landowners to Renters Overnight…
Day 271 of the Cornwall Bypass Project…
HJC is no longer ours. The notice of expropriation was filed late yesterday afternoon.
We needed this to move forward.
Intellectually I know that, my heart is having trouble catching up with my head. 9 years ago today I was walking the property that would become my home imagining all that the future would hold.
It held all of you.
This place represented a kind of homecoming for me. A way for my family and I to reconnect after I had been gone for so long. Talking about what I had learned on my travels, and learning with my mom and dad at my side how to make my dream of HJC come to fruition.
It was terrifying. What if I failed? What if no one came? What if I was a fraud?
We built this place the way I teach all of you, from the ground up. There is a fair amount of my family’s blood, sweat and tears in every inch of this property and now the Prince Edward Island Government is my landlord.
There is something I find distasteful about it now that it is actually here. It may be silly, but it eats at me — they don’t deserve it. They haven’t earned it and they don’t respect it or what it represents.
Yes Paula (firstname.lastname@example.org), even though we asked for it.
You guys have heard me talk about it since July 2016; we asked, lobbied and pushed for them to buy us out as it was the only chance HJC had to continue. We just thought it was going to be a fair process with an equitable outcome.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
Hence the expropriation… The government decided it would be better for them to take the property via expropriation than it would be to deal with us in formal negotiations. The amount we required to buy new land within the community and rebuild was too high, our 3rd party valuation too considerate of what we would require to relocate.
So now the message the PEI government hope you are taking away from this is that we (HJC) saw an opportunity to get rich and they (the PEI government) are protecting the taxpayer. We think you know us better.
After all what does “rich” mean to you?
I know it means HJC to me.
I’m not sure they understand I was already as “rich” as I had ever hoped to be. All of my students and horses over the years have joined with me. That was the kind of wealth I dreamt about since I was a 15 year old kid ready to go out and conquer the world.
I’m not fighting to get “rich”. I’m fighting to stay enriched.
There’s a difference and the law agrees, an expropriated party should be left no worse off than they were prior to expropriation. In order for that to happen, HJC needs to be in a position to relocate within our community — and at the expropriated price, we are not.
So this weekend we mourn, we feel all of the feels, and on Monday we begin the fight anew, this time serving the Government with a notice of arbitration. Arbitration means we get to present our case before a judge who will decide if we are worthy.
The story is entering a new chapter but it’s not over yet . . . in many ways the fight has just begun.
Will you join us?