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#18947
FLAG violation : IS PUBLIC REACTION an excuse for acquiescence ? 2019/03/16 13:09  
An Ottawa military officer's huge CANADIAN FLAG - flying unauthorized for EIGHT MONTHS from his townhouse unit's common element streetside exterior facade without a section 98 agreement - has been ordered removed by condo management. Its exterior mounting has not been authorized.

With press coverage spreading amidst other units' alleged non-compliances being wryly noted to interviewers by the flag-flyer, it's a not unfamiliar story even in Ontario.

He's also heard being pleasantly interviewed for 6 minutes on CBC's All in a Day.

Should compliancers concern themselves with how a sensitive issue will play out in the media ?

After all, Ontario's condo law requires governancers to enforce. It's a reasonable expectation by buyers & lenders alike.

AND IF a NO FLAGS restriction becomes outdated or unreasonable, another expectation is that amendments may merit consideration and may even occur.

BUT SHOULD governancers concern themselves with "general optics" where public backlash may occur to sensitive issues like national flag removal orders ?

Discussing the latest flag issue Ottawa condo lawyer Rod Escayola ( Gowling WLG ) provides links to some Ontario condo flag disputes. They didn't end sweetly.

Mr Escayola's article ALSO links - for perspective - to a Sweetwater Florida senior's seven year struggle over a non-compliant, far smaller U.S. handflag stuck into a flower pot on his townhouse porch. ( see some details below ). Fighting fines liened at $ 100 U.S per day ( including in a 2014 U.S. Florida District Court outing ), it's a struggle FORMER OWNER Larry Murphree says cost him hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars & forced him to sell out.

But closer looks at Mr Murphree's Florida flag war & his condo governancer's responses, are not one-sided.

When Larry Murphree's " LOST MY HOME ! " outcome went viral by 2018 ( The Washington Post; veterans media etc ) the onsite comments as usual included some pretty virulent denunciations of condos & HOA governancing.

It's a frequent U.S. online reaction where a defier presents some sympathetic aspects. Further, there are now many Americans with horrendous personal tales of abuse by ubiquitous U.S. HOAs & condo associations. They flood media comments sections.

Until recent years, online Canadian commenters don't seem as virulent as American HOA/condo critics. For example, there seems to have been little to NO online nor media reaction - for example - to lawyer / condo owner Manorama Sennek's being gagged & ordered mental-examined without her flower box liening beefs even getting considered on merits ! That would have got attention in many U.S states and maybe from the A.C.L.U. Maybe nobody cares about property & civil rights here. Or maybe courtesy prevails. Or maybe the disputes just haven't yet created as many condo/HOA enemies yet. Or maybe there's little to fear . . . )

Just for comparison, the latest Ottawa flag appears to be about 18 ft2 or more in area & it's highly visible. The troublesome little Florida handflag appears to have been about 2 ft2 in area & was shown simply inserted into a front door flowerpot. ( Was the flowerpot offensive ?)

The Ottawa flag flyer is an articulate Afghan war veteran but not a senior on a pension. He sounds flexible albeit fuzzy about any Federal ( flag ) jurisdiction in condo matters.

( This ain't Canada : In other U.S. disputes veteran groups have actually paraded in protest through HOAs & condos attempting to prohibit the flying of the Blue Star indicating a family member serving in the U.S. military overseas. In some cases FURIOUS legislators have been driven to denounce & superficially limit HOA oppression. )

1 - Carlingwood 2019 :CBC Ottawa March 14/19 “Condo board wants soldier's Canadian flag to come downhttps://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/canadian-flag-family-condo-board-1.5055712

March 14/19 Gowling WLG “Soldier Ordered to Take Down Canadian Flag from Condo Unit” http://condoadviser.ca/2019/03/soldier-ordered-to-take-down-canadian-flag-from-condo-unit/condo-law- blog-Ontario


2 - Florida's Murphree v The Tides Condominium etc 2014 .. https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/florida/flmdce/3:2013cv00713/285916/21/ (lots of details ; March 31/14 ( US District Court M.D. Fla Jacksonville Div rejects Federal suit by Murphree against Assn ( without prejudice to his state recourses ) BUT refuses to award costs to the Condo Assn. )


July 9/18 Washington Post : “ He refused to pay a fine for the U.S. flag on his porch. His fight with the HOA forced him to sell his house” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/07/09/he-refused-to-pay-a-fine-for-the-u-s- flag-on-his-porch-his-hoa-made-him-get-rid-of-the-house/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1d41f0763e71

Lost in the shuffle ? July 2/14 Condo Assn replies with specifics identifying Mr Murphree : “Association's Statement Regarding Larry Murphree's Flower Pot Violation and Lien for Unpaid Common Assessments” https://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb11986807.htm
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