Canada’s weirdest laws: breaking out in song on Winnipeg Transit vehicles is against the law

In July 2014, the city passed a bylaw that forbade singing while using public transit.
In July 2014, the city passed a bylaw that forbade singing while using public transit. (Photo: Wikimedia/Daver112)

If you ever have a hankering to break out into a dramatic rendition of ‘O Sole Mio’ on Winnipeg Transit vehicles you may want to rethink that decision.

See: Canada’s weirdest laws: Hooting and hollering now allowed in Bracebridge, Ont.

In July 2014, the city passed a bylaw that forbade singing enthusiasts from breaking into song while using public transit.

It comes as no shock that when the bylaw was being proposed, Winnipeg residents were livid and weren’t shy about speaking out against the bylaw.

One CBC News reader, going by the name of SamSquantch, even commented: "As a Winnipeg Transit bus driver this has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard of - unless of course they happen to be singing a Justin Bieber song".

A city counsellor later assured the media that they would take the word “sing” out of the bylaw. Unfortunately, the prohibition against singing would likely still apply because of the ban on live musical performances.

The law reads: “An individual must not do any of the following on or in any transit property. . . without the prior written permission of the Director, offer or stage a live musical performance”.

The musical performance ban is by no means the only thing prohibited by the recent bylaw. It lists a whole series of prohibited behaviours on transit, including a ban to ride a unicycle, bicycle or tricycle, carrying a lighted cigar and inhaling a solvent.

Not everyone thinks the ban on singing was a bad idea. One CBC News reader even quipped: "Good, shut up and ride the bus. Nobody wants to hear your American Idol tryout. They just want to get home".

See: Canada’s weirdest laws: Pretending to practise witchcraft is illegal

If you are caught staging a live musical performance without permission, you could face a $100 fine.

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