Sunday, August 17, 2008

Handyman Fights City Over Free Repairs

Jon Tennett loves to tinker in his garage. It's not an uncommon pastime for an 81-year-old man, but what is unusual is the city's response.

Because Tennett fixes his neighbours' lawn mowers and other small machines, the city of Pickering, Ontario has charged him with operating an illegal business - even though he's never charged a penny for his work.

HT: Reason

9 Comments:

At 8/17/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger juandos said...

You just gotta love that nanny state...

I wonder how many tax dollars went into hassling this senior citizen that has a hobby that helps his neighbors?

 
At 8/17/2008 2:16 PM, Anonymous QT said...

Juandos,

Likely not ALL the neighbours. Someone has to have reported the CRIME.

Competing businessman? Environmentalist who has declared war on grass and gas powered motors? Someone who dislikes noise or the mess of disassembled machines?

There's an eiyore somewhere on that block.

 
At 8/17/2008 2:58 PM, Blogger randian said...

In this case, it isn't so much as nanny state as it is a total regulatory state, where the most trivial things are subject to the attentions of the bureaucracy.

 
At 8/17/2008 6:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Likely not ALL the neighbours. Someone has to have reported the CRIME"...

Oh no doubt about neighbor (someone who had something Tennett couldn't fix?) qt but what just boggles my mind is that the city council or whatever actually at one time or another spent time dreaming that silly ordinance up...

Then to follow through on that?!?!

Nice use of resources...

"it is a total regulatory state"...

Yeah randian I sort of imply that also but you bring up a good point... Total control...

 
At 8/17/2008 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is a business, wouldn't just about every hobby now be a business? Stamp collecting, metal detecting, wood carving, beer can collecting or oil painting? What's the difference?

 
At 8/17/2008 11:43 PM, Anonymous QT said...

This is one ordinance that seems to be past the curve given the number of employees of large companies who are home-based.

 
At 8/18/2008 2:46 AM, Anonymous JC said...

Whats it coming too. Do these people want our estates overgrown with grass.

 
At 8/18/2008 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose you can't borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor, as that would be running an illegal, retail store. You can't drive them to the doctor, because that takes business away from the taxi services. Hosting a party with food and drinks is now an unlicensed restaurant/bar. Taking turn watching each other's children is an illegal daycare. Bottom line is if they can't tax it, it must be illegal.

 
At 8/18/2008 9:37 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Uh, this is Ontario we're talking about here, folks. It's the most liberal province of the already fairly liberal nation of Canada.

Is it any surprise that the notion of "operating an illegal business" (not involving any threat to human health or wellbeing) even holds any value there?

People need to email them to make the point what a ridiculous laughing stock this sort of thing makes Canada out to be.


> You can't drive them to the doctor, because that takes business away from the taxi services.

I can't find the link, offhand, but some years back (ca. 2005/6), there was a piece about a case in France where some cleaning women, by operating a carpool, were getting crap for "competing" with the State-licensed taxi services.

 

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