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20 of the Most Ridiculous Laws Across Canada

Canada has had some ridiculous laws over its 150 years.  Some of them are outdated, and some you can tell are only against the law because one guy ruined it for the rest of us. We have put together a list of the 20 most outrageous things you could be arrested for in Canada.  If…

Canada has had some ridiculous laws over its 150 years.  Some of them are outdated, and some you can tell are only against the law because one guy ruined it for the rest of us.

We have put together a list of the 20 most outrageous things you could be arrested for in Canada.  If you are doing any travelling be sure to check the list before you break any laws like building a snowman too tall, or whistling in Ontario.

1. It is illegal to steal oysters anywhere in Canada

It might sound far-fetched but there is actually an entire section in the Criminal Code that details the humane treatment of oysters. The law states that is illegal to steal oysters from oyster beds. Probably sounds fair enough on the surface, but slightly odd that there was the need to create a specific law to cover oysters in particular.

The law states, “where oysters and oyster brood are in oyster beds, layings or fisheries that are the property of any person and are sufficiently marked out or known as the property of that person, that person shall be deemed to have a special property or interest in them.” Source

A reasonable guess might be that oyster theft is rife across Canada but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Every now and then a significant case of Grand Theft Oyster crops up, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be endemic enough to warrant it’s own law.

The real reason is much less intriguing – it is simply a law inherited from 200-year old fishing regulation in Scotland.

2. To paint a wooden ladder, Alberta

Alberta’s 2009 Occupational Health and Safety Code states that:

126(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person must not paint a wooden ladder

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT , Alberta Regulation 87/2009

This is because when a wooden ladder is painted it is much harder to see what condition it is in. The regulations allow for the ladder to be covered in a transparent coating instead.

3. Keeping cows in your house in Newfoundland

4. Climbing a tree in Oshawa, Ontario

This isn’t one of those silly ones you might find on the rest of the list. The ‘kind-of but not really’ laws. There is a specific Oshawa by-law that states:

No person shall interfere with a tree or part of a tree located on municipal property, including but not limited to attaching, affixing or placing upon in any manner any object or thing to a tree or part of a tree, and climbing the tree.

By-law 78-2008 of The Corporation of the City of Oshawa

There isn’t a lot of information as to why this law might have come into place with one online source claiming it was to stop residents acting like wannabe Spidermen, although it is important to note that this only applies to trees on municipal property (something that most posts of this kind neglect to mention).

5. Setting fire to a wooden leg in Alberta

Another one for the column of, “Well, of course, but did they really need a specific law just for that?

The origin of this law is a little unclear. Google it and you will find it is ALL over the internet but very little context is given. It might date back to a section called ‘Looney (Canadian) Laws’ in Uncle John’s Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.

Well apparently they did.

Exercising in a way that scares a horse without permission in BC

Wearing a t-shirt if you’re driving a taxi in Halifax.

Dragging a dead horse down the street in Toronto on Sundays

Walking downtown with your shoes untied in Fort Mc’Appelle, Quebec

Buying non-prescription contact lenses in Calgary, Alberta

Eating ice cream along Bank street Ottawa on Sunday

Drawing Crime Comics anywhere in Canada

Having more than 3.5 inches of water in your bathtub in Etobicoke, Ontario

Building a snowman taller than 30 inches in Souris, PEI

Having more than two colours of paint on your house in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Whistling in Petrolia, Ontario

Swearing in French in Montreal

Letting go of more than ten helium balloons within 24 hours in Toronto

Carrying a snake in public in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Scaring the Queen of England… ever.

Author: Daily Ting