Ontario Clothesline Bans Banned

A legal low-tech note for a Friday — which is still law and technology and, so, fit meat for Slaw:

The Premier of Ontario will announce today that a regulation taking effect immediately will undo any existing bans on the use of clotheslines by homeowners and preclude any such bans in the future. The regulation, which hasn’t yet made it to the e-laws site, is made pursuant to the Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.3, Schedule A:

s.3(2) A person is permitted to use designated goods, services and technologies in such circumstances as may be prescribed, despite any restriction imposed at law that would otherwise prevent or restrict their use, including a restriction established by a municipal by-law, a condominium by-law, an encumbrance on real property or an agreement.
(3) A restriction imposed at law that would otherwise prevent or restrict the use of designated goods, services or technologies is inoperative.

Gotta love that “inoperative.” And, as far as I’m concerned, gotta hate that tendentious title… “Conservation Leadership…” This use of statute names to force people to speak words that would not otherwise cross their lips, started as I recall by the Harris government here, annoys me greatly and is reminiscent of the clumsy propaganda of communist states.

But what I really love — smug, superior Schadenfreude I freely confess — is the direct attack on the petty bourgeois pieties that restrictive covenants impose on some developments. Let it all hang out.


  1. Orwellian statute titles, or at least politicized ones, date back to the Peterson govt, e.g. the no-fault auto statute was called the Motorist Protection Plan Act. But Harris went at it with a vengeance – the Fewer Politicians Act, the Employment Standards Improvement Act (try criticizing that one). One of my favourite long titles was An Act to repond to the decision of the Supreme court o Canada in M v H (I think it was) – which they mercifully did not give the short title “The Supreme Court Made Us Do It Act” – to extend same-sex benefits in a number of provincial statutes.

    The McGuinty govt is just as aggressive as Harris was – whether the content is as offensive is a matter of point of view, but the titles are often absurd and offensive, and totally obscure about what is actually happening.

    Remind me to submit my quiz about statutes named after dead kids… it’s a real trend in Ontario legislation (and elsewhere, I fear.)