Weird Laws In British Columbia

Port Coquitlam
You may find yourself in handcuffs if you don’t keep the cows off the street in Port Coquitlam. Might this law have been enacted after a reckless cowboy drove his cattle through the city streets? Port Coquitlam also has some particular pet-centric bylaws. Rat colonies are not welcome (four is the limit) and the number of pet snakes must be kept to a minimum.

Bylaw number 771 in the town of Smithers states that the town is officially a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Enacted in 1986, the bylaw may seem archaic now, but at the time it was a symbol of the town’s opposition to the nuclear arms race. By retaining the law Smithers makes its stance on nuclear war very clear.

Oak Bay
Oak Bay keeps strict tabs on animals living within city limits. Bylaw 4013 specifically prohibits “habitually noisy dogs” and your pet parrot must be quiet and confined to your property. Should your parrot be impounded by the city (for trespassing?) it will cost you $6.00 plus boarding fees, compounded daily. Oh, and keep your bees away from your neighbour’s pond. You can be fined for that.

If you keep pigeons in the city of Quesnel you’d best keep a close watch on them. Particularly, do not allow them to perch on anyone else’s property. Alas your birds can only gaze longingly at streetlights and overpass signs. A 1965 law prohibits any public sport that is likely to frighten horses- unless you have obtained written permission beforehand. Another law from the same time period prohibited the display of merchandise on the sidewalk except for “prepackaged frozen confections.” It seems town leaders had an affinity for ice cream.

Selling stoves seems innocuous enough, right? So it’s curious what prompted the 1947 law in Vancouver that made it illegal to sell stoves on a Wednesday within city limits. Fortunately the law was eventually repealed…after almost 40 years.

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