There was a meeting on Alberta provincial land use laws held in a nearby town in August 2011.  The speaker was a lawyer who works for land owners who object to government decisions on the use of their land.  The local newspapers reported on the meeting and the response of the local Member of the Legislative Assembly, Lloyd Snelgrove.  As I understood the report, Mr. Snelgrove indicated that one piece of legislation was to save the land owners the time and money for court cases that were futile.  The implication is that land owners really don’t have property rights which is absolutely correct.  You will look in vain for property rights in the Canadian Constitution.

What we call ownership is really a tenancy.  Our governments are the real owners who collect rent and decide how property can be used.  Some of the rent is collected as property tax and GST.  Some rent is prepaid as income tax before purchases.  And some rent is hidden in the purchase price as businesses pass on taxes that they have paid.  It is a modern version of the lord and serf relationship of medieval times.

Our relationship to government is also like that of a parent and child.  The parent is responsible for the child and allows the child to do more or less depending on capability.  Government regulations set our boundaries.

Freedom comes from individual responsibility.  A person who is free is responsible for themselves and their possessions and consequently decides what to do with themselves and their possessions.  In this country, our governments assume responsibility for what we can and cannot do, and the control of all resources.

I am grateful for what our governments allow me to do, especially compared to other parts of the world.  Still, I would rather be free.