I am writing this letter with one underlying thesis. If the government continues to legislate every single aspect of our lives, it occurs to me that this isn't freedom, it is a dictatorship.This applies to government control over seatbelts, smoking restrictions, noise control, and even whether or not our children can ride a bicycle without a helmet. I am not arguing that you shouldn't wear a seatbelt, and that you should smoke without respecting others rights, or that a child shouldn't wear a helmet when riding a bike, but I am arguing the point where civic responsibility and personal common sense gives way to government control.These ideas lead me to my mundane event that inspired me to write this letter today.Every winter the city comes through my cul-de-sac two to three times to clear snow (three if I am lucky). When they do, they dump the snow in my yard. I am not unreasonable. I understand that they have to put the snow somewhere. For this reason, over the past roughly eight years I have owned my home, I have cleared the gravel left from the melting snow myself. I have never been happy about it, but tolerant and understanding of the situation.This past winter was exceptionally bad. My front lawn was completely buried in gravel. Worse than that, there is a beautiful pine tree surrounded by ferns in my front yard. The ferns are covered in gravel, branches are snapped off, and it is basically disgusting to look at.No big deal right? Accidents happen, I thought to myself. I will just call the city.Boy was I wrong! To spare the details of every single one of my many conversations with various city officials, I concluded that my tax dollars had effectively help to pay for a long line of city officials that have a plethora of alternative methods of telling me to go "pound sand", metaphorically speaking.To paraphrase, all I got was, "We understand, but that's just too bad for you". It was their primary line of reasoning that I found most shocking.Every single person I spoke to throughout the day had stated that the city effectively owns so many feet of my property from the curb. This number varied from five feet to 15 feet, depending on who I spoke to. As a result of this loose clarification, I demanded to know what the exact number was for my property. Not surprisingly, no one could give me that number, however as this situation escalated, I was certain they would have someone over to produce a number that was beneficial to their argument. I demanded to see provincial or federal legislation that stated they had the right to claim a portion of my land. Once again, my request was ignored and I was quoted local policy.I had a couple of serious problems with this argument. First of all, I know for a fact that if I don't mow my front lawn, and upkeep my property, the city would have no problem whatsoever, giving me a ticket. This is very confusing to me, because they were very clear to me throughout every single conversation that they owned a portion of my land. My reasoning tells me that if that's the case, then they should mow it and give themselves a ticket when they don't. I also happen to have a number of cracks in my driveway that fall within the various designated lengths of property the city was claiming to own. Without arguing the case, I was quite certain the city wouldn't be coming to fix my driveway for me anytime soon. I found myself also finding it convenient for them to lay claim to my land, yet I pay the mortgage on it, I pay the taxes on it, and I maintain it. If they truly own it, should I be forwarding a portion of my mortgages and maintenance bills to the city?It seems to me that the city lays claim to our personal property, only when it suites their purpose. If the property requires maintenance and care, it suddenly is not their property anymore. I find this very convenient for the city. I also find this morally and ethically disturbing.In one conversation I tried desperately to simplify the situation. I explained that if the property is mine as I feel it is, the city destroyed it and therefore should come fix it. If the property was the cities, then I am a tax paying citizen who is complaining about damage to a tree in front of my house that the city caused, and they should come fix it.You would think that argument would have gotten results, but alas city officials are better at arguing on the phone about why they shouldn't do something, than actually getting out and doing it. I wondered in my hours of conversation how much each of the people I was speaking to were getting paid because I am quite certain they could have fixed my property in the amount of time they wasted arguing with me that they shouldn't on the phone.I began to ramble thoughts though my head to make sense of this. I pay almost $4,000 dollars a year in city taxes. If they can't fix my yard, which they wrecked mind you, then where are my tax dollars going."Must be for gas" I told myself. No wait, I get a bill for that. "It must be for water then". No, that can't be it because I get a water bill as well. So it's for street maintenance that has to be it. Well I sure do hit a lot of pot holes in my six-block drive to work every day so that can't be it either. It has to all be snow removal then, but as I already stated, they only come through here two to three times a year. That's a lot of money for such minor service. I can push the snow with my ATV faster, better, and more efficiently than they do, without destroying anyone's property (and I do in fact do this, because of the lack of removal the rest of the year). The only thing I see in the budget that blows my mind is "flowers". Do we really spend as much on flowers as we do snow removal in our city? What is wrong with this picture?Ultimately, I can honestly say, I just don't get it. I do however get this fact: I have a yard full of gravel, and my tree in my front yard is destroyed, and there isn't a thing I can do about it. After going several levels up the ladder of city officials, the best answer I got was, wait till May and we will see how it goes.The city management system is a failure. In Canada, you cannot legally give a ticket to someone unless they have a means of contesting it in a court of law. We as citizens have the right to protect ourselves. We have the right to a fair trial. The statement is "Innocent until proven guilty" right? The City of Dawson Creek does not see things this way. They arbitrarily mandate policy that infringes on our rights as Canadians in order to achieve their own means. They issue tickets with no check system. They can be corrupt and spiteful tickets but we have no method of defending our innocence. Furthermore, the do not provide its citizens with any recourse or means of change. We have no say. Our elected officials are sheep and ultimately slaves to the system, confined to working within the barriers the system has built up around itself. The entire situation is a Fascist disgrace to everything this country is supposed to be about.I am writing this letter in hopes it will reach the papers, and the people. I am writing it in hopes it reaches our city officials. I am writing it because unless we acknowledge the problems, we will never find resolution and will continue to degrade our way of life. The only way to do this is to plea with the people who are reading this to do something. Write your own letters. Go to meetings, lobby your government, stand up for your rights, and make a change.