Good news for that friend you have who’s always threatening to bail on the U.S. and move to Canada: The northern nation got even cooler this week, updating its criminal code to remove laws outlawing witchcraft, fortune-telling, and dueling. (Potential new fortune: ”You are going to get yourself stabbed to death in a duel.”) The archaic laws have been on the books for years, and have mostly been invoked in recent years when people claiming magical powers managed to bilk tens of thousands of dollars out of their fellow citizens in exchange for their mystical “prowess.”
Somewhat sadly, the repeal of the magic-and-swordplay laws was less about transforming Canada into a more polite version of Westeros, and more about getting rid of redundancy—not to mention religious and sexist prejudices. “Don’t use magic to rip people off” and “don’t kill people” are already pretty rigorously covered under the country’s fraud and murder statutes, and the witchcraft laws, especially, were often used to unfairly target women and practitioners of Wicca. Canadian pagans have apparently been trying for some time to get the overly specific prohibitions off the country’s books.
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