The southern Alberta town of Taber has adopted a new bylaw that targets bad behaviour — but instead is drawing comparisons to the draconian laws in the movie "Footloose."
The new “Community Standards Bylaw” prohibits spitting in public, with a fine of $75. Fines double to $150 for yelling, screaming or swearing in a public place.
Kids and teenagers now face a nightly curfew, and peace officers have the power to break up those who assemble in a public place in groups of three or more.
"Little towns get bad names because of this kind of nonsense," Lisa Lambert, a PhD candidate and instructor in political science at the University of Calgary, told Metro News. "This is so embarrassing."
Lambert points out that fundraisers such as car washes, raffles, and bake sales could fall under the bylaw's definition of panhandling, which brings with it a fine of $75.
And while it appears dancing is still allowed, bars and pubs could be penalized if any noise escapes the establishment and "annoys or disturbs any person outside the boundary of the premises."
Only one town councillor, Joe Strojwas, voted against the bylaw, which passed with a 6-1 vote last week.
"I’m in support," Taber Mayor Henk De Vlieger told the Taber Times.
"I’m not saying this thing is perfect, but I think we should give it a chance and try it out, and let the police work with it. After a period of time, we might make some adjustments, but let’s see how it works."
Of course, people took to Twitter to poke fun at the new bylaw, drawing parallels between the small town and the silver screen.
Taber has also banned rock and roll and dancing, but one charismatic teenager won't stand for it! http://t.co/9mUAh7llnF— Daniel MacEachern (@DanMacEachern) March 10, 2015
So is dancing allowed in Taber?— Josh B (@JoshYEG) March 10, 2015
Alberta has had its fair share of strange and strict laws over the years. Like Taber, it's been illegal to swear in public in Jasper since 2005. And Taber follows St. Paul's bylaw that makes it unlawful for anyone 15 or younger to be out in public without supervision of a parent or guardian between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m.
What do you think of Taber's new bylaw? Does it go too far? Check out the fines in the slideshow below.