Fight property bylaw bullies

Did you know bylaw officers in Ontario can waltz onto your private property without your permission and without a warrant?

I’ve asked almost everyone I know, and a few strangers too, and the response I get is uniformly the same, “no, surely they can’t!” Oh, but they can.

Section 436 of the Ontario Municipal Act gives municipalities the power to pass bylaws that permit their officers to walk around in your backyard “at any reasonable time” to pursue an “investigation” stemming from a complaint. Or if the officer has a hunch that maybe you’re up to no good, erecting too large of a tent in your backyard or, God forbid, breaking some other persnickety bylaw regulation.