11/09/2013 12:16 EST | Updated 11/12/2013 05:50 EST

Weird Laws Alberta: Wacky Rules That Made Sense To Someone..


It came as a shock to many when three ties during the recent municipal elections in two Alberta towns were decided with a draw from a hat.

Yes, the long respected principles of democracy as part of our foundations as a modern society and civilized nation were embodied by one piece of paper being pulled from a hat by an Elections Alberta official.

John Walker and Jim Gomuwka both ran for a seat on council in Edson and both received 727 votes. Both names were put in a hat - only Walker's came out.

The same occurred in two divisions in Red Deer County. In one of the divisions, two candidates got 288 votes, while in the other, two contenders garnered 328 votes.

Again, the hat came out, the names went in and, voila, Red Deer County had two new councillors.

For some, it was offensive. For many, it was just plain weird. For all, it's the law.

"If a tie determines who is elected or not, the retuning officer writes the names of those candidates on separate pieces of paper and 'draws a name from a hat.' The name on the withdrawn paper is considered to receive one more vote," states Alberta's Local Authorities Election Act.

But this very real law is only one of many strange statutes that are currently in the province's law books today, or that adorned those legal pages in the past.

The province, as well as municipalities within it, have passed laws in the past that may seem absolutely archaic in modern times. Some are still active in the dusty corners of city halls and legislatures, but long since enforced, such as that which prohibits throwing snowballs in Calgary.

Others have long been retired, such as the law that made it illegal for men and women to drink together in public. Yep, that one was around as recently as the late 60s.

And then there are some that only fit in modern times, such as the law that tells you what you can't do in your RV while within the town of Jasper.

Click through the slideshow below for some of the strangest, weirdest and odd Alberta laws.

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