TORONTO - Let's start with a quick quiz.
Do you think your home is your castle, protected under common law as yours and yours alone?
Further, do you think you hold the right to say who enters your property and the terms under which they do?
Answer "yes" to both questions?
Maybe it's time to think again.
As Ontario householders are finding, utility company Hydro One reserves absolute privilege to enter your private property whenever a representative sees fit.
The reason they want access is to install new electronic smart meters, now being rolled out across the province as part of a multimillion-dollar program funded by Ontario taxpayers.
For various legitimate reasons, including health, privacy and safety, many people are opposed to the forced installation of this new wireless metering system. But they're discovering they have no way of seeking an exemption or opting out.
Like Second World War veteran Russell Irwin. The 91-year-old says the company replaced his old meter with a new digital version directly against his wishes and without permission.
This is what happened to Irwin.
"The Hydro people first came one day and we told them to get out and stay out," Irwin said. "The next Sunday morning they snuck back in and put the smart meter in anyway.
"They said they've got every right to do these things but they should have asked first whether we want the new smart meter or not.
"The answer would have been obviously no."
Irwin has since refused to pay any more bills until the old meter is returned and the company offers an apology.
Hydro One's response has been to inform him to be prepared to have his power cut off by Tuesday.