For 10 years, libertarian activist and scholar Peter Jaworski has thrown an annual summer seminar and party on the Clarington, Ontario property owned by his parents, Marta and Lech. The Liberty Summer Seminar typically features speeches from libertarian activists and scholars followed by live music and food. This year Peter's parents, who fled to Canada from communist Poland in the 1980s, face a $50,000 fine for violating local zoning laws.
Peter Jaworski said the local health department called him a few days before the event and he thought he had addressed its concerns over food being served — he decided to cater — and the three portable toilets on site.
But the couple received a summons to provincial court on Sept. 28 on a charge of using land in an agricultural zone "for a commercial conference centre" contrary to a Clarington bylaw.
Marta Jaworski, 57, said she and her husband, also 57, are "devastated" by the charge, which she called a "taste" of the oppression they felt in Poland before fleeing in 1984 to Germany and later Canada.
"It is a feeling to be hunted. They come in uniforms . . . ," she said, starting to cry.