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5 Canadian Laws You Might Not Even Know You’re Breaking

Canada’s legal framework is fair and just, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some rather strange inconsistencies. You might think it’s fine to empty your change jar to pay for your lunch, but in truth, the act is quite illegal.

Keeping up-to-date on the ever-changing legal landscape can be difficult (at least it is without the help of legal management software) but is essential for any legal professional. Actually, it’s important for the average citizen, too, because you might end up breaking a law without even knowing it.

From fake psychics to booking an Airbnb in Ontario, there are more than a few Canadian laws that most probably aren’t even aware of. Check out a sample below and make sure you’re not breaking the law!

The Canadian Ban On Crime Comics

Superheroes weren’t always the main focus of comic books. Dark and seedier crime and murder-mystery comics were actually quite popular in the 40’s and 50’s, with plots featuring content that might not have been appropriate for kids. That’s why the Canadian government banned crime comics in 1949, believing the comics could encourage illicit behaviour. The law itself stipulates that should any character in a comic do anything unlawful, they would have to be arrested or be foiled by the end of the story. Beware if you have a comic in your hand that illegally has the bad guys winning in the end.

Leave The Sign Where It Stands

As cool as it may be to have a deer or duck crossing sign in your rec room, the legal trouble you can get into may be more than you bargained for. According to Article 443 of the Canadian Criminal Code, pulling down an official government sign (municipal, provincial, federal) could land you with a whole five years in jail.

No Fake Psychics Allowed

Only those truly gifted with paranormal powers are allowed to operate in Canada, apparently, as Article 365 of the Canadian Criminal Code specifically states that it is illegal to “fraudulently” practice “witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.” The law extends to any fortune tellers or those using “knowledge of the occult or crafty science” to aid in investigations or searches. All in all, be careful who you’re using to contact the dead, because you might be participating in some illegal activities if they’re faking. Wonder what the stance is on “real” psychics or witchcraft practitioners…

Never Pay With Too Much Change

In a move that has certainly pleased cashiers for years, the Canadian Currency Act specifically states that there is a limit to how much change you can use to pay for something. For example, if you’re paying a $5 bill, the maximum amount of change you can use is 100 nickels. Same goes for a bill of $25, where loonies are the limit.

Watch Out Where You Airbnb In Ontario

Quite recently the province of Ontario has given a fair bit of power to condo buildings, as they can effectively make sharing services like Airbnb illegal. Condo corporations have the power to enforce this ruling on their own discretion, and would prohibit condo-owners from renting out their units on Airbnb or Expedia. No doubt this recent ruling will alter the legal landscape quite a bit, as Airbnb and like services have become incredibly popular, and similar rulings will no doubt be seen in other provinces quite soon. Keep this in mind whenever you’re booking an Airbnb in Ontario, as condos may get you into a sticky legal situation.

Featured image courtesy of: succo

Michael D'Alimonte

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