For six years now, Frank Meyers has been doing his best to ignore the elephant on his farm. Ask him about it—the fact that the federal government wants to kick him off his beloved land in order to build a new headquarters for the military’s elite special forces squad—and the 84-year-old brushes it all aside, like the dirt on his pants. Meyers, a dairy farmer for seven decades, is dealing with his bad luck the only way he knows how: with pride, toughness and a bit of humour. “What are they going to do?” he asks. “Bring a task force in to take me out? They might have to.”
For Maclean’s readers, the Meyers legacy has become a familiar one. The direct descendant of a loyalist war hero, Frank Meyers farms the very same plot of land that King George III bestowed on his famous forefather as gratitude for his legendary service during the American Revolution. Now, more than two centuries later, the Canadian government wants it back—ironically enough, to build a new headquarters for Joint Task Force 2, the army’s top-secret commando unit. Since 2007, the public works department has been buying up hundreds of acres directly north of CFB Trenton, the country’s largest and busiest air force base. But Meyers insisted, over and over, that he would never part with his portion, approximately 220 acres. In February, the inevitable happened: Ottawa filed a notice of expropriation.
By preserving a way of life, Canadian tradition and heritage and keeping a working farm in operation that is putting food on the table of Canadians. In order to have national security, a country must have an adequate food source and supply.