Question to the group, and Gerry.
thopkins at thopkins.demon.co.uk
Thu Jan 29 05:59:50 EST 1998
In article <34cfaba8.0 at myth.vianet.on.ca>, Ross <dianaros at vianet.on.ca>
>I would offer one perspective on property rights from a Canadian.
>When I bought my rural land some 26 years ago I had thought of fencing it
>off to keep out intruders. On reflection this did not seem to be a
>worthwhile project and I gave up on the idea. There have been trespassers
>over the years including 2 hunters who walked by the house with guns in
>plain view. Neighbours at various times have intruded, including one who set
>traps and snares. None of it seemed to be worth getting very angry about. I
>got his traps and he decided that it would be better to trap elsewhere. One
>neighbour cut down some old hardwood for fuel wood and that did prompt a
>sharp reminder to please keep to his side of the line. It would have been
>easy to really get mad but heat does not always produce usable light.
>I do have one neighbour who is a bit of a prick and I do get angry about
>some of his activities. But then I think, if I escalate it into a feud I am
>no better than he (and his son).
>Of course I don't sanction trespass, but I don't get into a screaming fit
>about it either. Normaly all that is required is to remind the indivdual(s)
>to go elsewhere.
>The only time I realy got mad was when some drunks turned up in my road and
>decided it was good spot to have a pee. I drove my dozer to the front of
>their car and raised the blade just above the hood. I didn't say a word.
>They made a few smart ass remarks but it is rather hard to argue with a
>dozer and they left.
>Civil law in Canada varries from province to province (there are 2 civil
>codes as well).
>In Ontario, it is not necessary to post land. It is the trespasser who must
>prove the right of entry. The other side of the coin is a citizens arrest
>can not be made at the point of a gun. To do so gets the gun owner in court
>as well. For rural dwellers this tends to keep things in perspective.
>Either you have enough muscle to handle the trespasser or it would be wise
>to forget it. There are not enough police to respond to petty trespass or
>even minor vandalism. The flip side is there is not to much of either in
>Jostnix wrote in message <19980126233901.SAA09336 at ladder02.news.aol.com>...
>> theo hopkins <thopkins at thopkins.demon.co.uk> writes:
>>>>>As a non-USA citizen, property rights don't get me jumping up and down
>>>excitement. I am happy to discuss the effect of property
>>(sometimes good, sometimes bad). 'Property rights' are deeply
I don't want to get deeply involved in a discussion on 'property rights'
as it isn't too relvant to trees....the trees will grow just as well
wether or not there are tresspassers on the land. (Vandalism, petty or
otherwise, is something else).
We are all born on the planet Earth, so have to be somewhere all of the
time. If you don't own property or rent it, then you are probably a
tresspasser. Probably, if Canadian law is like English law, even being
on a highway, *unless you are 'going to and fro on your lawful business'
then you are illegally on the road.
Your land, I could argue, has actually been stolen from some First
Nation group. (Who probably stole it from some other first nation
******However, such a discussion is probably better for a news group
with a name like <alt. political philosophy!>.*******
Maybe what I am saying is really 'if this is an international group,
then we need to understand that there are a lot of cultures out there'
(which makes life interesting).
'Property rights' is essentially a North American expression, and for
historical reasons is deeply embeded in US culture, because of their
constitution and history.
In many parts of Europe, there is no concept of tresspass on
uncultivated land, such as woodland or forest or seashore or mountain
top. For example, I and you can go anywhere on any forest land in
Finland, and while I can't take timber from the land, I can camp there,
and gather berries and mushrooms, etc. The Finns are very proud of this
land access, and it seems to cause no one any problems atall.
Under English law, tresspass is a civil, not criminal, offence. I can
only remove someone from my land with 'minimum appropriate force'. So, I
would first have to ASK the person to leave. If the person refused, I
could push them off my land, but if I hit them with a stick, I would
probably end in jail, not the trespasser.
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