Category: Rights & Freedoms

How a Pizza Helped Rod Understand Democracy and Freedom

Many people believe democracy and freedom are the same thing. Actually, they’re not. Democracy refers to a decision-making process that involves three or more people, maybe even millions. Freedom has to do with the ability an individual has to make a choice, and then act upon that choice. (Often, although not always, the expression of freedom is reflected in our economic choices. Freedom also implies the right to not be discriminated against.) The idea that Canadians, and Albertans, should use a democratic process to decide our own fate on key political issues is certainly more favorable towards promoting freedom...

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Bill 2, and the Alberta Government’s Continuing Challenge to Landowner Rights

The Alberta government has churned out a parade of anti-property rights laws these past few years. Bill 19 originally gave government the power to put development decisions about private property under the control of a Cabinet Minister.With Bill 24 the government seized control of privately-owned pore spaces. Pore spaces are sub-surface hollow spots, like the holes in a sponge. In Ontario, landowners lease pore spaces to utility companies for more than $100 per acre per year. In Alberta, as a result of Bill 24, these condominium-like storage spaces now belong to government and are controlled by politicians. Bill 36...

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How Much Does A Civil Society Cost?

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who once said that taxes are the price we pay to live in a civil society. The year Holmes was appointed to the Supreme Court (1902), Tax Freedom Day in the United States arrived on January 21st. Canada’s tax burden was similarly low. At the time, there wasn’t any income tax in the United States, or in Canada, nor would there be for many years. When a permanent income tax was introduced, it happened in the United States some years prior to Canada’s Parliament moving in that direction, and...

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The Alberta Government’s Legacy on Property Rights

AUTHORS NOTE: A few people may take exception to Bill 202 being referred to as a government Land Bill. The Bill was put forward as a Private Members Bill by Neil Brown, PC MLA for Calgary Mackay Nose Hill. That being said, readers will want to keep a couple things in mind: First is that the men and women who run the government are not politically unaware. And, they have a proven track record on trampling property rights. Legislative leaders know if they desire to advance a legislative initiative, yet test the waters or avoid possible fallout and/or backlash,...

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