This Week in Canada…



A sort of catch-all bill aimed at getting rid of some outdated laws went through Parliament a few days ago, and while it is long overdue, some things were a bit of an eye-opener.


The government, at long last, agreed that “pretending to be a witch” would no longer be an offense punishable by law, to the immense relief of schoolchildren at Hallowe’en all across the land.

No, no one had actually been convicted for impersonating witches recently, although Google notes that a Toronto man was charged in 2012, so it is possible that “recently” only covers the last five years. While it is sad to think that people are being hoodwinked into paying big bucks to have demons evicted from their clouded minds and bodies, it is, in the end, no different and no worse than the televangelist demanding followers send money to prevent him from being “taken by the Lord”, or for pastors to eject starving widows from the congregation because they cannot afford to tithe enough for the pastor’s liking – both of which are actual things that have happened in my lifetime.


But the other big news from this bill was that dueling is legal again!

Yes, indeed. It is now, once again, the right of every Canadian to settle their differences with sword or gun, as long as it’s done according to the time-honoured traditions.

You cannot imagine how ecstatic we all are about this.

Pistols at dawn! Gauntlets thrown and gloves smacked across faces!

All across the provinces, people with anger management problems are telling their best friends to start boning up on the responsibilities of the “second”, the less recalcitrant are looking up “delopement” in the dictionary, and we all are imploring landlords to lay down stocks of claret and beef steaks, because protocol demands that there be a hearty and red-blooded breakfast following the ritual bloodletting for the honour of a Lady. Lace cuffs are expected to be the most sought-after sartorial item this fall.

Well, it makes a change from all the wrangling over whether customers should have to pay a fee to get their cell phones unlocked, anyway.


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