No treats: Town plans to ban kids ages 16 or older from trick-or-treating

The quintessential art of knocking on a door and receiving gobs of sugar-laden treats on Halloween has a mandatory age limit in one Canadian town. 

At the ripe old age of 16, teenagers in Bathurst, New Brunswick, are banned from trick-or-treating, and other trick-or-treaters must wrap up their candy grabbing by 8 p.m., according to the proposed law. According to CBC News, town officials are expected to pass the bylaw on a third reading in early October. Those caught with a “facial disguise” (aka a Halloween mask) after 8 p.m., or those ages 16 or older appearing to be on the haunt for treats, would be fined up to $200 under the regulation.

Kim Chamberlain, deputy of the northern New Brunswick community, said in a recent CBC interview the law goes too far.

"I wanted to demolish it altogether, but I got outvoted," Chamberlain said. "My cousin's son is 5-4 and 15 years old. What are we going to do? Go up to him and ask him 'How old are you?' and 'show me your ID.’ That doesn't make sense."

Chamberlain called it an overreach for city council members to impose rules on a holiday like Halloween, pointing out that homeowners can turn out their porch lights if they don't want trick-or-treaters past a certain hour.

She wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

How will the city enforce it?

Well, there likely won’t be any city officials on the lookout for older teenagers come Halloween, said Bathurst city spokesman Luc Foulem. When an earlier version of the bylaw was approved in 2005, there were no fines issued, Foulem told CBC. The hope is that the law will just cut down on Halloween-night mischief.

The candy-coated Halloween debate begs the question: Is there an age limit on trick-or-treating?

Let us know your thoughts below.

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