October 10, 2015

The busybody next door: Outlawing fun one neighbourhood at a time

David MenziesMission Specialist

I unload about an issue we've all had to deal with -- the busybody, nosy neighbour.

You know the ones, often anonymous, who seem to have the By-Law Officer's phone number on speed dial?

Is it really about basketball nets, dandelions, safety issues or neighbourhood aesthetics?

Usually it's just some grouch who likes to complain for the sake of complaining.

And unfortunately, it's usually kids who should be outdoors getting some exercise and having fun who are hurt the most.


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commented 2015-10-11 23:52:31 -0400
Richard, what does your comment have to do with this report from David Menzies? I think you posted your comment in the wrong place.
commented 2015-10-11 20:00:04 -0400
Spooky comments here, Washington Post admits Syria is a proxy-war, no longer using the “civil war” euphemism, now openly paying Islamic mercenaries to fight Assad and Russia… These people are insane. They need a war to cover for what’s going to happen with the economy.
commented 2015-10-11 19:48:50 -0400
I feel your pain Menzoid – neurotic vindictive stressed out suburban talking sphincters is the reason I decided to downsize and move to a small quarter section outside a small rural community. There is something about the pressure of the materialistic urban rat race that makes people either go postal or lose all sense of civility or community. Over-regulating micro managing martinets on city council are enablers of the urban grouch – with reams of petty bylaw infractions on the rolls there is plenty of ammunition to allow one Grinch to destroy the community for everyone. I never regret my decision to trade a reduction in income to leave all that urban psychosis and rat race behind me – I’m a better person for it, my relationships is more stable and the kids are far more focused of what’s really important in life – I’d recommend it to anyone in Dave’s situation.
commented 2015-10-11 17:52:58 -0400
The toad in a pot brought to a slow boil will cook.
commented 2015-10-11 14:41:26 -0400
I thought this article by Bob Livingston bears some relevance to the Menzoid’s plight.
“…For the elected and bureaucrat class, there is no problem that cannot be fixed by yet another law. If one law is in place to prevent a thing and the thing occurs anyway, two more will certainly do the trick.
If three laws don’t stop it, three more surely will. If six laws aren’t enough, surely one — or six — more is enough.
This is the way liberty is lost, one law at a time. One law leads to another and another and another. And then, one day, a once-free nation finds itself in bondage.
It’s called gradualism. It’s a time-honored practice of the ruling class. They are content to set events in motion knowing they will not come to fruition in their lifetime, but will mature 50 years or 100 years down the road.
That’s because the people rarely accept tyranny in one fell swoop. It has to come slowly and imperceptibly, or the people will resist and rebel. Gradualism reduces the shock potential and numbs the senses to the reality that is transpiring all around, no matter how serious the consequences. It neutralizes the mind and numbs the senses to reality…”
commented 2015-10-11 13:45:15 -0400
Peter……..good one………..:-)
commented 2015-10-10 21:15:11 -0400
The avian subspecies “Annularus Orificelus” shares some characteristics with the seagull and common loon. They also can be imitative of some other unpleasant birds that like to make room for more of their kind by fair means or fowl. They are easily manipulated by the perfectly innocuous activities of sly birds who know which buttons are the most fun to press.
commented 2015-10-10 21:11:23 -0400
I count myself so lucky…..18 years ago I decided I had enough of bad neighbours…..I could write a book …but we all know…

I live in a 200 year old Selkirk salt box farm house…..the two nearest houses are just over 200 meters away and one of them is only visited for about a week every summer. The farmers who own the fields next to me get along with me just fine….we stop and talk when they come to work their fields….if they intend to spray they call and let me know….if a branch from one of my trees is scratching their tractor…they politely point it out and I prune it back…..they let me glean firewood from the treelines that perimeter their fields….“go right ahead Glenn…you would be doing me a favour”.

Something I do every day that the weather permits is go out behind my woodshed and practice with my 10 meter air rifle….no hassles.

When I go to the store everyone knows me by name and exchange friendly greetings and well wishes.

When I went to the advanced polls yesterday I got into some very informative and friendly conversations with the others who were seated in the waiting queue……not one word of politics was spoken….I have no idea how anyone was voting.

I live in one of the very best neighbourhoods in Canada…..the property lines are not fenced….they are vaguely defined by tree lines…the original marking posts rotted and disappeared some time ago…..I really don’t agree with the expression "good fences make good neighbours…….that is a symptom of overcrowding….and when you look at a map of Canada…..is that really necessary?
commented 2015-10-10 20:06:45 -0400
You might want to consider the bigger picture here Menzoid.
I moved away from any urban or suburban center years ago, I couldn’t take people’s self-righteous, inconsiderate narcissistic BS, noise and stink – if you’re so you’re outnumbered, just face reality and leave.
And the blatant and rampant Nanny-State socialism that is centralized and flourishes in urban centers was too ‘in your face’ for me, and that was 20 or 30 years ago…
As the Menzoid stated, those By-Law officers are just doing a job. From personal experience I’d say it’s a shitty job, dealing with assholes half the day, and you have to suck it up. I didn’t last long because I don’t take shitandabuse very well.
What you should look at and document are the number of new ‘laws and regulations’ that have exploded in volume over the past few years, from municipal to federal government jurisdictions, as well as regional. etc.
Nanny-State Socialism manifests itself in ALL THOSE BYLAWS, and in their enforcement, inevitably, at the point of a gun. You can recognize the structure and methodology of Nanny State Socialism if you are familiar with the jargon of Agenda 21. They’re part and parcel.
Much like the lefty/liberal/progressive who exploits the courts or the so-called Human Rights Tribunals for their ‘special interest rewards’, the Menzoid’s serial complainer neighbour is as much an enemy to THE PEOPLE as the politician enabling the flourishing of this underhanded method of control, and the faceless bureaucrat whose signature on a document starts the ball rolling – the snow BALL rollin’ downhill, straight to hell…
I really don’t understand how people today can still live cheek to jowl in those putrid rabbit warrens…but that’s what Agenda 21 has in mind for everyone, well, most people, and after the cull…
commented 2015-10-10 19:16:13 -0400
I’d have him charged for indecent exposure flailing all that blubber around
commented 2015-10-10 17:58:52 -0400
David. You have a neighborhood monitor. Keep him happy and he will dig up the dirt where it needs to be dug. Don’t keep him happy and you lose you Basket Ball street court. Turn against him and he will use all of his powers to get you.
You made this public. You have already lost.

In defense of the busy body, a wise man once told me, “This type of person has more problems going on than what is displayed on the surface.” No different than a single parent with 6 kids and a dog that craps on your grass. That pile of crap is a lot smaller problem than what is really going on in that single parents life.

So, get smart and start using his particular skills to your advantage. It is simple. You have to be smarter, which in this case, shouldn’t be that hard to do. First, become his friend.

I like the tournament idea as well. But get permission from Bylaw first. Make it a fund raiser to show how this guy is against goodness.
commented 2015-10-10 17:49:28 -0400
I find it extremely revealing (pun not intended) that this “neighbor” in his vehicle was spouting all sorts of anger and accusations, and not listening to one word of response. His mind was made up, he was “right”, and everybody else had to change to suit him. I believe the proper label for this person would be, “self-righteous”.

Does this sound familiar to anybody else? Like, maybe, any “activist” who’s claiming their rights are being infringed upon?

And we wonder why our country is devolving into chaos. There’s no more “working together”. Now we see the results of the “me generation”.

Pretty, ain’t it?
commented 2015-10-10 17:14:53 -0400
I could always move into the same neighborhood as this… this… “creature” (the tamest epithet I could think up), and run my modified Harleys out of my garage… or in front of my place… or in front of HIS place…

I’m sure the local Hell’s Angels wouldn’t mind helping out. They might even open a clubhouse and drive all the neighborhood crime out of the area.

Of course, ALL of the above is tongue-in-cheek (except for the modified Harleys — those are for real), and it’s meant as a statement that, hell, his neighborhood could be a crapload worse… (and so could the consequences for him…)

Sorry, Dave Menzies…
commented 2015-10-10 15:05:31 -0400
Rosie, I am actually a retired mineral exploration geologist who has seen more of northern Canada than most. I have NEVER worked for government, but I do want to protect my family and property from idiots. Sometimes, those who let their dogs shit and piss on my property or leave their garbage for me to pick up get a real scolding from this 68 year old good neighbour. I do have a tolerance for things like David mentioned but I am not some liberal or lefty pushover who thinks the world is theirs for the taking and to hell with property rights. Yes, I am conservative!
commented 2015-10-10 14:26:40 -0400
LOL, the squeaky middle-aged shirtless white male everyone-has-derangement-syndrome-but-me connie wonders are up in arms at being called out. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
commented 2015-10-10 14:14:31 -0400
“by-law” is a problem which extends beyond just neighborly disputes. These crown employees are routinely high-handed in Hamilton, taxpayers are forced to fund their bloated, corrupt operation.

“by-law” is NOT the Law… It is a racket, backed by the force of the state/courts and enforcers. It employs unelected bureaucrats to regulate and restrict the people and their property.



commented 2015-10-10 14:04:17 -0400
I live in a rural area, the average property range from 10 to 160 acres. I had a neighbor who moved in next door, caused all kinds of problems with the area by calling the bylaw officer nearly every week. She didn’t like the cows across the street, even though this area is zoned light agricultural. She didn’t like the combines harvesting in the fall till late hours. She really didn’t like the skeet range in my back yard, and called the RCMP several times. Finally the Mounties got tired of it and said they would charge her with making nuisance calls. The list of what she didn’t like was nearly endless. She moved here from the city, because she didn’t like the noise of the city. Not realizing that in a rural farm area, their will be sounds and smell that go with it. She destroyed the community spirit by her constant complaining, then after 2 years of hatred, shouting by her, and ruining people quite lives. They moved out. The damage was done, my little community has never recovered from this witch. They are everywhere, unfortunately.
commented 2015-10-10 13:59:42 -0400
Allan Willy, you must work for the city.
“I have no problem calling bylaw enforcement for situations where someone is doing major renovations, near my home, with no permits. I do not want my family to be at risk because of some idiot’s cheapness and lack of respect for bylaws”

Seriously how often does that happen. Your post is a whole lot of exaggerated supposition. You sound like a nosey parker to me.
commented 2015-10-10 13:22:21 -0400
I agree that neighbours should be a little more tolerant especially of something like a basketball net at the end of a dead end street, a leaning fence or parking on a street (he should be downtown Toronto where on many streets you can only park on one side to allow traffic to flow). However, sometimes being a busybody neighbour could be the thing to do. Many people seem to think that when they renovate their house that permits are for idiots who wind up paying big bucks and get big delays, so they just defy bylaws and go ahead. Now that’s probably okay if you really know what you are doing, but most of us know that not ALL home renovators are expert in their field. For instance, you buy a house that was recently renovated. You get an electrical fire and get inspected by your insurance company. Guess what? No permit and faulty wiring job so no insurance for you! Or, even worse, your gas furnace was installed by an “expert” who charges very little. A big explosion and, if you survive, no insurance and perhaps some very big law suits. I have no problem calling bylaw enforcement for situations where someone is doing major renovations, near my home, with no permits. I do not want my family to be at risk because of some idiot’s cheapness and lack of respect for bylaws. A simple inspection can save lots of grief for everyone. However, minor crap like happened on David Menzies’ street really should be ignored, unless of course the kids vet a long weekend basket ball tournament with bleachers and refreshments!
commented 2015-10-10 13:02:17 -0400
Andrew Stephenson commented
“That complainer is pretty clearly a conservative, given the indignant squeakiness he could be Rob Ford’s long lost cousin…Now that the courts have decided that they can no longer tell you who you can and can’t marry…”

Gosh…like, Rob Ford bashing is like so last year and, like, marriage definition is like so last decade. Like, maybe left wing critics should, like, not be like so out of date in their, like, critiques.

Apologies for the all the like’s and so’s to the intelligent poster, I am just trying to get into the left thought set…best way to do it is to use their sophisticated vernacular (like, vernacular so means words…better put that interpretation in for the left).
commented 2015-10-10 12:43:10 -0400
Every time a person calls for a bylaw officer to come out and "investigate a “complaint” the complainer should be charged a fee for the service. Perhaps being dinged $ 200.00 for each complaint might slow them down a little.

commented 2015-10-10 12:14:53 -0400
Liza asked, “Why do Liberals always resort to Rob Ford beating?”

Because for all their self proclaimed “tolerance and equality for all”, they are bigger racists and bigots than any conservative I have ever seen.
commented 2015-10-10 11:59:08 -0400
You are right Alain, we need to pay more attention to the municipal leaders we vote in.
commented 2015-10-10 11:57:10 -0400
Not likely a conservative Andrew. And regarding your wind turbine, it wouldn’t make you popular in my neighbourhood, and we are a mix of political alliances.
Why do Liberals always resort to Rob Ford beating?
commented 2015-10-10 11:52:40 -0400
I wonder if the problem doesnt really lie with the nanny state, busily enacting copious bylaws dealing with every aspect of their citizenry’s lives.

Bylaw officers wouldnt be reacting if the bylaws first were not put in place to enforce.
commented 2015-10-10 11:41:16 -0400
That complainer is pretty clearly a conservative, given the indignant squeakiness he could be Rob Ford’s long lost cousin … they LOVE to tell you what you can and can’t do. Now that the courts have decided that they can no longer tell you who you can and can’t marry, they’ve been reduced to meddling on trivialities.

If I put a wind turbine up in my backyard, squeaky-angry-shirtless conservatives would instantly be all over me and violating MY property rights.
commented 2015-10-10 11:33:44 -0400
Boy, I agree Charles, what was this guy doing flashing so much lard in public. Disgusting doesn’t even describe it. I’m traumatized.
You’d think bylaw would be getting fed up with wannabe cop complaining all the time and tell him to take a chill pill.
Dave, you should have a Halloween event/ BBQ in the middle of your court, and invite him. Maybe the city will give you a permit for a neighbourhood event. Then all he’ll be able to do is fume. Get all your other neighbours involved, and have these events regularity.
commented 2015-10-10 11:00:23 -0400
His wive has probably cut him off. That’s probably why he is such an -——.
commented 2015-10-10 10:59:27 -0400
Because this takes place in Toronto, I suspect the people making the bylaws are a busy body lefty bunch, who spend there lives dreaming up things they can ban, and new ways to place restrictions on our lives. Yeah, the Molson Muscle is a nosy, angry, jerk but I believe his actions are fueled in large part by the wing nut law makers.