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9 Laws Canadians Break Every Day Without Realizing It

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Senior Editor
9 Laws Canadians Break Every Day Without Realizing It

As the legal code accumulates new regulations over time, many old laws become forgotten.

ALSO READ: A 95-Year-Old Canadian Grandma Kicked A Bear Out Of Her Kitchen Twice

In this way, laws that once addressed specific social or economic concerns become comical as those concerns disappear from collective memory.

Canada has a number of obsolete laws that are just ridiculous by contemporary standards of behaviour.

Take a look at these nine old laws that Canadians break every day without knowing it:

It is illegal to swear in public

In Toronto and Québec City, there are laws that strictly regulate public conduct. That might seem nice on paper, but these are practically impossible to enforce. We are also a lot less prudish than the men who wrote these laws long ago.

Nevertheless, think twice before you swear in public in these two cities.

It is illegal to remove a bandage in public

This is probably for public health reasons. Who wants to come across an old bandaid? Ew.

It's illegal to say something smells bad

According to a national law, comments about foul smells in public are forbidden. My best guess is that this law is in place to protect small business dealing with particularly smelly trade, like fish.

It is illegal to consume fake maple syrup

National laws strictly regulate the production and consumption of maple syrup. It makes sense that the government would want to control which products can use the label of Canada's famous export. But really. No true Canadian would eat anything but the real deal anyway. We take syrup seriously.

It is illegal to transport alcohol across provincial boundaries

With the exception of wine, the transportation of alcohol between provinces is forbidden.

It is illegal to pay with all coins

For amounts as low as five dollars in some areas it is illegal for customers to pay for items in all coins. It really doe not help that the five dollar bill is the lowest denomination Canada produces...

It is illegal to eat oysters in an unconventional way

According to Reader's Digest, several laws dicate the way Canadians should eat oysters. But is there even a way to eat oysters without slurping them out of their shells?

It is illegal to possess crime comics

This is still a national law that probably dates back to early twentieth century, when wealthy officials panicked about the circulation of new, mass-produced media among the proletariat. People seriously believed reading comics could mess up your brain and behaviour.

It is illegal to pretend to be a witch

Ok, Canadians don't break this law every day. But while the practice of witchcraft is perfectly legal, it is illegal to imitate those practices without being a devotee. This law doesn't forbid costumes, but Canadians should be cautious on Halloween nonetheless.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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