Locals in the Canadian town of Bathurst are trying to repeal a bylaw that forbids anyone over the age of 14 from trick-or-treating on Halloween and restricts the hours children can go door to door.
The hallows eve law, which has been on the books since 2005, says teens who break the rules on Oct. 31 could be fined up to $149. It also bans “facial disguises” and “door-to-door soliciting” after 7pm, reports the Toronto Star.
The law made headlines in mid-October when local Calvin Sisk, who has a 16-year-old teenage daughter, asked the town’s Mayor Paolo Fongemie for the council to amend the bylaw. “There are some kids that are old, but they’re really young at heart. That’s what my daughter is. She’s 16 years old and she can’t go out with her sister anymore trick-or-treating,” Sisk told the Toronto Star. “She missed Halloween last year because of the bylaw.”
Fongemie says this is the first he has heard of it and does not think that the bylaw, which may be an effort to curb pranksters, has ever been enforced. He “personally would take it out” as it doesn’t give “the message out that we’re open to having young families in our community.” But, other members of the council are divided by the matter.
“I’m divided. To be honest, I have some mixed feelings about that,” local councillor Samuel Daigle told the Toronto Star. “I understand that some people have some worries. They feel uncomfortable with having anybody of any age at their house.”