You no longer need a Hogwarts certificate to be able to do magic in Canada. The government there is planning to remove from its law a provision penalising “pretending to practice magic”. Why? Because it was chauvinistic!
Canada is dealing with outdated laws. One of them threatened to punish ineffective magic. What does it mean? When someone offered to cast a spell, and then it turned out that the spell did not work, the caster was guilty of the offence. It turns out that it is not such a dead recipe at all, although it could be reworded. To date, Canadian police have a problem with all kinds of charlatans who promise to remove curses and cast spells.
Magic in Canada
This particular provision in the law was part of a larger whole, it was part of an article on false statements. For example, it concerned people who provided fake data when taking a loan or when paying bills at a restaurant. Now, this article will be removed (probably something else will replace it), because the Senate in Ottawa is already working on the finalisation of the new criminal code.
The law dates back to the late eighteenth century when the British stopped believing in magic. It was then that the fraudsters who impersonated all kinds of sorcerers began to be punished. Although faith in witchcraft has almost disappeared, even now some people are fooled by quacks in Canada.
A woman robbed an Ontario’s resident out of $68,000 went to trial a day before the section 365 of the Candian Criminal code and she got a hefty sentence. She maintained that she wasn’t practising witchcraft. Police in New York arrested a lady who decided to banish evil spirits from the house and thus extorted 600,000 dollars from an elderly man. Another time, a woman named Vishwantee Persaud conned $27,000 from a lawyer, pretending to be possessed by the spirit of his deceased sister.
You will ask why exactly this particular provision has been repealed? In 2015, two lawyers, Natasha Bakht and Jordan Palmer wrote a paper in which they noticed that it was based on fixation around one religion and had its roots in the anguish of women years ago.
“We know: once accused of practising magic, a woman could end up on the stake. Although changes in the law ruled out this possibility for good, the two jurists did not think so. They believed that the law on punishing “false sorcerers” was directed against neopagan or Wiccan people.”
They believed that the line between punishment for legal, religious practices and punishment of fraudsters was very thin. Besides, they came to the conclusion that it serves as a tool to oppress women and people who do not profess “mainstream” religions.
It is not known whether the Canadian Parliament decided to delete it because of this, but – knowing Justin Trudeau’s approach – it is very possible.