Ticketing Private Property

During the CFL’s first game back in Ottawa on July 18th there was much news about how well the stadium and facilities were coping with the return of Canadian Football to Ottawa.

What many people failed to notice in the coverage was the actions of the City of Ottawa By-law officers. Among the common incidents of parking for too long, or blocking entranceway’s, there was one case that stood out. Someone was ticketed for parking a car on their own property.

This may sound absurd, but in Ottawa it is illigal to park a car on ones own front lawn, or to sell or rent out parking on your own property. Renting out parking space carries a $5000 fine. This by-law seems to be in contradiction with every aspect of a free society. Who is the city to decide where I can or cannot park on my own property?

The inability to choose where I can park is actually the symptom of a much larger systemic problem with our modern society. Every aspect of our lives is governed by thousands of rules, laws, and by-laws. As a consequence of this we have slowly lost many freedoms that we once took for granted.

When it comes to renting or selling access to parking space, why should someone be barred from doing so? If one cannot have the freedom to use our property as we see fit (within reasonable limits of not directly impacting those around us) then what is the point of calling it property ownership? If I own a property I should be able to build anything I want on it. I should be able to use if for any personal uses I see fit as long as it doesn’t pose a threat to anyone around me. Provided the structure conforms to some basic levels of provincial building safety codes I hardly see how my choices in parking or building design are the concern of anyone else.

The same applies for parking. If I want to fill my yard up with junk, if I want to fill it up with cars, or just keep it completely empty then then I should be allowed to do so. If I want to rent out some of that yard space to someone who wants a spot to park their car and avoid paying the “green hornets” then I should be able to as well.

Our society has gone too far in regulating our lives. Its time that people recognise they are being drowned in the bureaucracy of regulation and speak up about this lunacy.


Hayward Peirce Written by:

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