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Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo’

From this July 19, 2013 Waterloo Region Record article, Son grassed off by complaint about elderly parents’ lawn:

Chris Parniak could not believe the city’s bylaw department is cracking down on his elderly parents to cut grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Parniak found a notice of violation from the city’s bylaw enforcement office in his parents’ mailbox on Wednesday. The notice mentioned his parents by name and ordered them to cut all grass taller than eight inches.

“I was just disgusted that the bylaw department is going around enforcing something as ridiculous as that in this kind of heat wave,” Parniak said.

“My parents are senior citizens, they are in their 80s. My mother is disabled with lupus, my dad had kidney failure and has been in and out of the hospital,” Parniak said.

Bylaw enforcement officers typically only respond to complaints. That means someone living near the elderly couple called the city’s bylaw enforcement office and complained about the length of their grass in the middle of a heat wave.

Property owners have three days to comply with a notice of violation. After that, a city grass cutting crew does the work and sends a bill. Typically the cost ranges from $100 to $150, depending on the size of the lot.

Despite the article making the neighbour(s) who ratted out the couple about their lawn out to be insensitive creeps, the fact that such bylaws are so widespread and accepted tells me that most Waterloo Region residents, most Canadians, and even most Americans would force this old man (through government) to cut his grass, too, if they were his neighbour.

If, for example, the guy had a dangerous tree on his property, then I think the city would be justified in acting to protect his neighbours, but what business is it of his neighbours, or of the city, to impose force on him simply because his grass is allegedly, and arbitrarily, “too long”?

This is the consequence of not truly owning any real property in Canada, unless you’re the Crown, and in most places in the United States, unless you’re the “sovereign” government. Your “ownership” is only fee simple, which means it is subject to all taxes and regulations imposed on it by the so-called representative government.

Am I saying that I would be happy to live next to a neighbour or neighbours with lawns that more resemble a jungle? Of course not! — but that’s not the point. How is it infringing upon my property rights, unless that grass becomes a danger to my property?

In a twist of irony, the city of Waterloo doesn’t follow its own similar bylaw, as I walked by the University of Waterloo Tech Park, which is operated by the publicly-owned university, and has tracts of land with grass and weeds bigger than eight inches at times, including on July 20.

Is it the case of a bylaw exemption, of the government not actually being servant to the people, and, instead, master? As a friend told me, when he worked on Ontario Works public housing projects, he was told that the government’s excuse was that there was simply too much grass to cut.

Too much grass to cut within 24 hours or a few days, perhaps, but it’s not a valid excuse at all if it justifies hardly ever cutting the grass while employing bylaw officers to force their benefactors (tax-paying residents) to cut their grass.

Until enough residents stand up and prove otherwise, I have no reason to believe that most of them wouldn’t also use the power of government to force their neighbours to cut their grass, too.

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I have been invited to speak to a local gathering of libertarians in Waterloo Region, at Benny’s Restaurant McGinnis Front Row in Waterloo, on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at 7 PM.

I will be speaking about the focus of my blog and radio show, Exposing Faux Capitalism, which includes the underreported successes of interest-free and government-issued currencies, criticisms of Austrian economics and the importance and success of limited government dedicated solely to protecting life, liberty and property.

Location details can be found here. All are welcome. Anyone interested should RSVP to Phil Bender at phil.libertarian@gmail.com so he can reserve a large enough table.

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Julian IchimSocial activist, Julian Ichim, is scheduled to be on Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb on Truth Frequency Radio, June 23, 2013 from 8 to 9 PM EDT.

I plan to discuss the plans for a casino in the region of Waterloo, where I live, the $818 million Light Rail Transit fiasco, Waterloo’s extraction of taxes to go to wealthy developers to “develop” the student ghetto of Northdale, the Region giving corporate welfare to pay for empty airline seats, the bad behaviour of some police and judges in the area, and his activism.

No matter where you live, the principles of widespread wealth redistribution at the hands of government, blatant corporate welfare, and bad government representation and policies are things you will be able to identify with, and my focus is on diagnosing the symptoms and formulating the appropriate remedies.

I previously interviewed him on October 14, 2012.

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English: Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort - Fac...

Ontario towns and cities, desperate for funds in these challenging economic times, are considering casinos in an effort to raise revenues, instead of doing less disruptive things like issuing municipal bonds to employees in lieu of pay increases, as has been suggested by John Turmel, whom I have previously interviewed.

With the vote by Woolwich Township council for the community to be considered by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to host a casino, by being bribed with some of its own taxpayer money, neighbouring Waterloo City Council has sought input through emails, phone calls and an online survey, and I have registered my sentiments:

We shouldn’t be bribed and pitted against each other in our respective communities with our own taxpayer money by our provincial government’s Lottery and Gaming Corporation. If a private consortium wishes to build a casino, then by all means, so long as it pays for all increased social services costs through a fee levied on every gambler.

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Waterloo City CouncilAs reported by the Waterloo Chronicle on August 15, 2012, in their article, A better way:

She now goes out of her way to avoid the Northdale neighbourhood and the surrounding area because she can’t stand the look of the bland, characterless apartments currently being built there.

Yet while city staff and some councillors say the city must walk a fine line to balance the enforcement of visual and aesthetic guidelines with the rights of developers — even going so far to consider using millions of dollars in incentives to rebuild Northdale — there are some builders in the city who have already taken that next step without a handout from the city.

If Waterloo City Council really cared about the property rights of individuals, they wouldn’t take millions of dollars in the form of property taxes in order to redistribute them to other property owners. Particularly, I see favouritism toward well-monied property owners, but it’s become so commonplace these days, even when it’s as blatant as taking money from the unemployed and underemployed for something as blatant as video game research, as I previously documented in my article, Canadian government calls for austerity, awards $5.8 million for video game research.

The last sentence of the paragraph I quoted shows that private developers can succeed in spite of regressive policies such as the one Waterloo City Council has floated.

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Pic for WikiProject Political parties and poli...

In my interview with Dr. Stan Monteith of Radio Liberty on November 2, 2011, I reported on the challenges facing Canadians, and of several Canadian success stories of political activism since my first interview with him on September 22, 2010.

I alluded to a dozen major developments, of which I mentioned the three major ones: the planned scrapping of the long-gun registry, the removal of fluoride from the municipal water supply in Waterloo and Calgary, and a majority of eligible B.C. voters voting to scrap the so-called Harmonized Sales Tax imposed upon them.

1) The long-gun registry is set to be scrapped now that the Conservatives have a majority and a bill has been introduced.
2) A sitting Canadian senator and Trilateral Commission member has called for a North American Parliament and a guaranteed minimum wage for all Canadians.
3) British Columbians in a historic referendum vote to scrap their government-imposed Harmonized Sales Tax (The first such vote in the English-speaking commonwealth).
4) Municipal water fluoridation voted down in Waterloo in 2010 and by Calgary city council in 2011.
5) A joint U.S.-Canadian unconstitutional plan to have law enforcement interoperability on the border by 2012.
6) Around a million Americans living in Canada being targeted by the IRS to file their taxes and report their bank account holdings going back several years.
7) Desperate for cash, the U.S. has imposed a new $5.50 entry fee on Canadian travelers.
8) Increasing economic freedom in Canada relative to the U.S., with Canada being rated the best country in the world to do business by Forbes.
9) Incandescent light bulb ban delay until 2014 in Canada.
10) Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan ended in July 2011, all troops scheduled to leave by Dec. 2011.
11) How the U.S. no-fly list became the Canadian no-fly list.
12) Toronto 2010 G20 fallout: Nearly 60% of charges dropped against 1100 arrested.

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Giant Canadian flag in downtown Vancouver

The B.C. referendum success of voting to scrap the federally administered HST on August 26, 2011, represents a trend of Canadian success stories of reigning in government since 2010.

While liberty has taken a back seat on the mad rush toward more and more government control in people’s lives, Canadians have fought back in three key ways since 2010.

First, on October 26, 2010, with city of Waterloo residents rejecting continued fluoridation of their water, despite the arrogant attempts of some so-called dental professionals in only showing up for one of three scheduled debates on the issue, presenting their arguments on high from their proverbial Mount Olympus.

To me, that vote, along with the rejection of merger talks with neighbouring Kitchener, was tangible evidence of Waterloo finally earning some of its otherwise premature designation as the world’s most intelligent community in 2007.

Then, on February 8, 2011, Calgary city council voted overwhelming to no longer forcibly medicate its residents with fluoride through their municipal water supply, and voted to reject hearing from a so-called panel of experts on the issue, recognizing that such a presentation is unworthy of consideration with regard to a fundamental human right.

In all three cases, liberty won out at the expense of arrogant politicians, so-called experts, and arrogant and over-reaching governments that have become a clear and present danger to the very existence of free Western societies since 9/11.

I hope that these examples will at least serve as an inspiration to those in the U.S. who are seeking to rein in what I view as their arrogant and over-reaching federal government. If the normally sanguine Canadians can push back on their government, then by George, surely Americans can push back on theirs!

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