Weird wrap: NS scraps ‘drunkard’ law, toboggan thieves shamed, and no English-only dolls in Quebec

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One province is scrapping some strange and paternalistic laws, but there's still plenty of other strange and silly legal goings-on in the news this week.

Branding off the books, ‘inebriates’ gain independence

Nova Scotia recently announced it plans to repeal 16 laws deemed “obsolete,” which in some cases, is a major understatement.

Among them is the Inebriates’ Guardianship Act that allows courts to appoint a guardian for “habitual drunkards” who aren’t capable of managing their own affairs.

Another paternalistic provision facing extinction is the Narcotic Drug Addicts Act, which allows the health minister to force people into rehab. It does not, however, allow the minister to bust into opium dens and personally throw them into a paddy wagon bound for the sanatorium.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Livestock Brands Act, which actually requires the physical branding of livestock. That’s not necessarily an Old West-style burn mark though, and it makes no mention of cattle rustlers. British Columbia also has an active branding law on the books.


Toboggan thieves face social media shame

An Ottawa pub issued an online threat to two rather thick thieves, warning things could go downhill quickly if they don’t return their ill-gotten toboggan.

We have full footage of your theft. We have pictures of your faces, we know that you sat downstairs by the patio door for dinner. We saw you leave and pull your car into an open spot close to the door … if you want us to post one with your faces, let us know,” reads a post on the Cheshire Cat pub’s Facebook page, sounding like a slightly-less scary version of Liam Neeson’s Taken speech.

The pub further demands the thieves return it by Friday and make a $100 donation to a local charity or else see their faces publicly posted.


Stuffed toy flouts language laws

Quebec’s language laws are so strict that they even apply to cute little stuffed animals.

A Quebec dad is blasting the province’s uncompromising stance after a Montreal Toys “R” Us refused to sell him a talking toy because it only speaks English.

Nick Messina’s one-year-old daughter had her eye on a Daniel Tiger toy, but the store wouldn’t sell them since they’re so contemptuously unilingual.

The province’s Charter of the French Language prohibits sales of any English-speaking toy unless a Francophone one exists.

Toys “R” Us apologized for the issue, saying the unilingual tiger was shipped to the Montreal store by accident.

Messina eventually bought one online, for considerably more than they cost in stores, but says his daughter’s delight is worth the price.



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