What You Didn't Know was a Crime in Canada.

AuthorIzadi, Melody

Lesser known offences in the Canadian Criminal Code that are still on the books in 2020

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be substituted for any legal advice.

The Government of Canada recently gave the Criminal Code a legal face lift after conducting a detailed review to eliminate all the excess and outdated (err, weird) laws. Some of Canada's most archaic criminal acts were repealed recently and taken off the books. For example, up until December 13, 2018, sorcery, enchantment and fortune telling for pay was a criminal offence. But there still remains some interesting, unique and lesser known criminal offences. Here are a few of my favourites:

  1. Moon crimes

    You can be charged for a criminal offence when you're on the moon! That's right folks, section 7(2.3) of the Criminal Code says a Canadian crew member can be convicted if:

  2. they commit an act or omission that, had it been committed on earth, would be an indictable offence, AND

  3. they commit that act while on or in relation to a flight element of the Space Station or by any means of transportation to or from the Space Station.

    So, if Sandra Bullock was a Canadian crew member, I wonder if the ending of Gravity would have been any different, hmm...

  4. Seducing the military

    Please don't seduce a member of the Canadian Armed Forces from their duty and allegiance to Her Majesty. If you do, sections 53(a) and 53(b) of the Criminal Code say you could face up to 14 years of jail. Attempting to incite or induce them to commit a traitorous or mutinous act is also a no, no!

  5. Other military distractions

    While we're on the topic of things not to do while interacting with a member of our Canadian Armed Forces: section 62(a) of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to interfere with, impair or influence the loyalty or discipline of a member of the force. No silly faces during cadet training, please!

  6. Stealing ships

    Did you know that if you are in Timbuktu and you steal a Canadian ship, you can face serious jail time? Whether you are in or out of Canada, if you steal a Canadian ship, it's an offence according to section 75(a). Leave your Jack Sparrow inclinations at home!

  7. Fight clubs

    Unless you're an amateur athlete or a boxer, no "Fight Clubs" allowed! According to section 83 of the Criminal Code, everyone who engages (whether as a fighter or a referee), advises, encourages, promotes, reports or aids in medical care at a prize fight can be found guilty of an offence. And face up to two years...

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