Canadians are renowned for their peaceful way of being. In a world full of terror, guns, and wars, Canadians base their relationships on honesty, mutual trust, and common sense.
However, they still have their fair share of wacky laws and won’t appreciate if you abuse their kindness. So, if you plan a visit right across the border, here are some rules they expect you to follow, no matter how weird they might sound.
- Don’t scare the Queen
Canadians are known for their love and respect for the Queen, who is also their ruler. Now, you may think “Who in the world would possibly want to scare the Queen in the first place?” since she barely goes out in public anymore and ceased most of her visits abroad due to her age.
As with many of the weirdest laws across the world, this one too has its roots in a situation occurred more than 150 years ago. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, this law existed since the Confederation and is traced back to Britain’s Treason Act in 1842. Back then, a man pointed a gun at Queen Victoria but did not shoot.
- Don’t challenge someone to a duel or accept an invitation to a duel
Long gone are the days when most disputes were solved with an old-fashioned duel. Nevertheless, the law remains active, so if it ever crossed your mind to win your lady’s heart by challenging another man to a fight, it would be best to seek an alternative.
If, however, you decide to cross this line, you can go to prison for up to two years. The last person who died in a duel in this land was Robert Lyon, back in 1833.
- You cannot create, possess or sell crime comics
So much for the Canadians being the good guys all the time! As hard as it is to believe, comic books are pretty much prohibited in the country, which is a pity, especially since Deadpool’s actor, Ryan Reynolds, is Canadian.
Again, this absurd law dates back in the 1940s where comic books were mainly about horror and crime stories. In 1948, two boys shot and killed a man in British Columbia after playing the role of highway bandits as they’ve seen in their favorite comic books. As a result, all comic books that depicted crimes or the events connected to a crime were strictly forbidden, and this includes the popular Batman, Spiderman or Deadpool.
- It is against the law to own a pet rat
Thank God Ratatouille’s action didn’t take place in Canada as it would have been a felony. However, the idea behind the law is not entirely wacky and does make sense, even in the present day. Back in the 1950s, there were discovered plenty of Norway rats on a farm near Alaska, close to the border with the Alberta region in Canada.
Fearing the risk of a plague spreading throughout the Canadian province, the Agricultural Pets Act for Alberta issued a new law that banned owning or bringing a pet rat in the region.
- Keeping your spirits at home
For such cheerful people, Canadians sure know how to ruin the fun for everyone else. According to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act issued back in the time of the prohibition, it is illegal to move a bottle of alcohol from one region to another without owning a permit of the provincial liquor control board.
However, in order to slightly adjust to recent times, as of 2012, you are allowed to move wine from one part of Canada to another, without requiring the permit mentioned above. Unfortunately, wine is the only type of alcohol falling into this category, so it would be best to buy the rest of your booze locally.
- Got a nickel?
After losing one of the most famous battles in the industry against giant Apple, Samsung was forced to pay one billion USD to its American competitor as part of a legal agreement. The Korean company carried out the promise, with a twist. It decided to pay the debt in coins, carried in over 20 trucks and delivered to the parking lot of Apple’s headquarter in Cupertino, California.
Pulling a similar stunt (which is actually a joke, as it didn’t happen in reality) in Canada wouldn’t make you a felon, but could draw some unnecessary attention. According to the country’s Currency Act of 1985, you are only allowed to use a limited number of coins for a transaction. The sum varies from 5 CAD for nickels to 25 CAD for loonies.
- No Kids Allowed in St. Paul, Alberta
Looking for some time alone with your beloved one, away from your kids? The region of Alberta seems like the perfect place for lovebirds as you won’t have to worry about your kids sneaking out at night.
The local law prohibits children under the age of 15 to wander around at night, between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m, without the supervision of a guardian or a parent. It may be a bummer for most teenagers nowadays, but it is a blessing for parents who want to keep their children safe and sound.
- No painted ladders in Alberta
What is it with the inhabitants of Alberta and their weird rules? We don’t know where this one came from, but it would be best to avoid breaking it. Apart from not being allowed to own rats as pets and keeping their children on a curfew throughout the night, the mighty citizens of Alberta cannot even paint their wooden ladders.
So please take your creativity somewhere else, especially if you plan on painting wood. If you wish to preserve a wooden ladder or prevent splinters, you can only cover it with clear polish.
- Limited garage sales
We all love a good flea market or a garage sale where we can score some great vintage and antique items for a dime. However, if you have an old gas range to spare or any other thing that you want to get rid of, you cannot do it through a garage sale more than twice a year. Those who want to keep their front lawns occupied with junk and old stuff for longer can be fined with up to 5,000 CAD.
- Don’t pretend to practice witchcraft
If you thought the Salem witches were treated badly, wait until you see what happens to those who pretend to be witches! Witchcraft seems like a serious deal in Canada, so pretending to know how to hocus-pocus is, in fact, a felony that will get you up to six months in jail!
The original law dated back to the UK’s Witchcraft Act in 1542. It appears that the current form of the law is intended to protect citizens from so-called healers and curse-lifters who are only after your money.