Saturday, September 08, 2007

My home is my castle, but my garden...?

I don't seem to have found much to rant and gripe about just recently. Politicians at all levels in Canada seem to be in something of a holding pattern in anticipation of elections (even if a federal election has not actually been called, you can feel it in the air). The continuing hot weather is fooling us into thinking that the newsless dog-days of summer are still here.
But one article caught my eye. Our normally sensitive and relatively sensible City Council apparently descended on a suburban Toronto garden sometime last month and razed it to the ground because a neighbour had complained that it was a blight on the neigbourhood. The garden was described as a tiny pesticide-free jungle of native prairie grasses, brown-eyed susans and milkweed, which took the owner a decade to plant and cultivate.
I had thought that we were long past the stage where we could be compelled to have identical gardens with green lawns and neat little beds of flowers, especially in these days of pesticide control and water conservation.
We've been through all this before. A 1996 Ontario case ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms gave people the right to garden as they saw fit. A 2002 case went all the way to the Ontario Supreme Court and upheld the same ruling.
So where did this come from? Ms. Dale is seeking $10,000 in compensation for the destroyed plants. But I am hoping that someone will back her in a fight to establish the bigger issues.
All over again.

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