Dear Off-Grid,

I live on the south shore of Nova Scotia and I want to build a tiny, off grid homestead. So far, it is proving to be a near impossibility.

The building inspector says I have to have 3 radiators and an air exchanger and these must be powered by electricity (as per the National Building Code). He says I must be able to maintain a temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius in my home at anytime during the year! Who keeps their heat that high anyways?

What if the power goes out for an extended period of time? I lived through the 1998 ice storm in Montreal, so I know it can happen.

I absolutely do not want electricity in my home. I am content to cook over a wood-burning stove (which I already have), read by kerosene lamps and generally live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Why does the government get to decide how I live? When did my rights as a Canadian citizen get taken away? If I don’t want electricity, I shouldn’t be forced to have electricity. Don’t you agree? If the old-order Mennonites and Amish can go totally off grid, the rest of us should also have that right.

My dream is to grow my own food (no more chemicals), raise chickens, sheep (for wool) and teach others how to live off-grid, green and self-sufficient. Is that now a crime?

I’d like to hear what your readers think of this and if you think it is something you might be interested in pursuing. If I have to, I’ll even haul my own water (doesn’t that sound like fun in the middle of January)?

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Cheryl Smith

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