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Weird Laws for a Weird Country: Moose Sex and Other Insane Canadian Laws

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Like other English-speaking countries Canada is home to a host of laughable laws. Here a few of them.

Canada is doubtless the weirdest of the English-speaking countries. While news out of the UK usually revolves around immigration or the royal family and the US spews stories of gun crimes and involvement in international crises, Canada most pressing issues are: maple syrup and moose, as well as controversial Canadian gambling laws. The moose question has become so pressing that public officials and environmentalists have spawned the “Moose Sex Project.” This piece will analyze that and other laughable laws.

The Moose Sex Project

• Canada has recently launched the Moose Sex Project to increase mating among the furry beasts

• Gambling professionally in Canada is legally considered a form of vagrancy

• It seems Canadians haven’t yet realized that they are an independent country: It is illegal to frighten the Queen of England there

The Blair Witch Project was so ridiculous as to actually be comical. This “project” out of Canada is even more ridiculous and equally comical. Apparently moose just aren’t horny these days. There are only 1,000 left in Nova Scotia and they are not breeding very quickly. So the Nature Conservatory of Canada has come up with a brilliant plan: building a corridor linking the moose population of neighboring New Brunswick to the sex-starved animals of Nova Scotia. Unleashing New Brunswick’s 29,000 moose onto the local population could cause an increase in mating and a return to population growth. Good for the ecosystem, and of course the moose won’t mind.

How is this to be done? A charity is buying up private and crown lands along the Chignecto Isthmus which connects the two provinces, which they will develop into a protected corridor. The state is helping by making donations to the charity tax-deductible. Lynx, bobcats and goshawks would also be able to use the corridor to expand their opportunities to hook-up.

Can anyone say frivolous lawsuit?

In Canada it is illegal to not guard a hole which you have cut in the ice. This sounds utterly absurd, but actually there is a good reason for it, albeit one which is exclusive to Canada and a few other countries. Ice fishing is huge there. Lakes are littered with holes, and unsuspecting travelers sometimes fall to their frozen deaths.

So if you’ve drilled a large hole in the ice, you must constantly be present to alert passersby. You are legally liable for any injuries or deaths that may occur. Are there actually lawyers specializing in this obscure part of the criminal code? We aren’t sure. But judging by how weird Canada is, we wouldn’t bet against it.

Do you live and die by the cards? Not in Canada

While American poker rooms are filled with professional card sharps earning their daily bread at the popular game of skill, making a living playing cards in Canada is illegal. According to section 179 of Canada’s criminal code, earning a living this way is considered a form of vagrancy, and is not a legitimate means of attaining income.

The legal definition of vagrancy is: “to stand idly around, hang around, linger, tarry, saunter, delay, dawdle.” Anyone who has seen these card sharps conduct their trade knows that there is no idling or sauntering involved. But vagrancy laws are usually applied widely to stick it to any group unpopular with the authorities, and in Canada professional gamblers are one of them.

The Queen does not like surprises

As an American, it was baffling to me that Canada would have an entire section of the criminal code dedicated to protecting one specific citizen of a foreign country. Then I remembered that the Imperial legacy still lives on in the hearts of Canadians and that the country is full of inexplicable things in general. It started to make more sense.

Section 49 prohibits carrying out “an act that with intent to alarm Her Majesty.” This conjured up the hilarious image of a Canadian kid being arrested for wearing a Halloween costume in the presence of Ol’ Elizabeth. But a bit of research showed that no laws protecting the Queen have been invoked in the past decade, so its looks to be a non-issue. It is also illegal according to section 418 to sell imitation Louis Vuitton items to the Queen, even if she knows that they aren’t real. That can carry up to 14 years in prison.

No single-event betting for Canadians

Canucks are famous for their passion for sportsbetting. Ice hockey, American football, basketball, curling, pro ice fishing; you name it, they wager on it. But Canadian gambling laws are relatively restrictive. It is illegal for online sportsbooks in Canada to accept wagers on single events. That means that if you want to lay down a bet on the Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs hockey game, you can’t. That is, unless you bet on at least two other events in a parlay bet.

This regulation is annoying to bettors, as their winnings are diluted by having to spread the wager across multiple events which will have different outcomes. Luckily for them, in another stupid gambling law it is legal for Canadians to access foreign-licensed online sportsbooks, for example those based in the UK or Antigua. So those bent on making single-event bets place them with one of these offshore bookies, causing gambling revenue and tax dollars to pour out of the country.

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