Who would have thought that there’d be a country where the use of a type of utensil is prohibited – well, Canada is a country that may leave you surprised. We’ve seen rumors of different countries making laws you’d ordinarily mock as being a misplacement of priority, but this is quite the special case because, from an objective bias, there is a justifiable reason.
Are forks banned in Canada? A direct answer is, “Yes, forks are banned and illegal in Canada.” However, you’d also be right if you got an answer, “No, forks are legal in Canada.” While both answers are correct when considered independently, you can only know the situations in which one takes precedence over the other when you can grasp how it all started.
In 1879, the Canadian government promulgated a law preventing its citizens from eating with a specific utensil – a fork. Considering that most people at that time used their hands to eat, the government decided owning forks was unnecessary.
However, there’s some flexibility about this law; you can own a fork but can only be allowed to use it within your residence. Outside your private space, possessing a fork is considered as unlawful possession of a weapon – a crime that attracts a 200CAD fine.
Meanwhile, if you’re new in Canada, you could argue that the law isn’t strictly enforced. Perhaps it’s because it has been there for so long, it’s now common knowledge to Canadians. At any rate, you shouldn’t be expecting to eat with a fork if you’re a tourist who walks into a public restaurant.
Why are Forks Illegal in Canada?
Carabiner-style forks are the most common types of forks in Canada, as such, they can be improvised weapons in the hands of a criminal. They’re classified as weapons according to a memorandum issued by the Ministry of Justice to all law enforcement agencies in Canada. However, it’s important to note that it wasn’t written to directly ban forks but to prevent them from being used as a weapon
More so, injuries from this utensil can be fatal, thus, the government tries to prevent any instance of it occurring by making the use of forks in public illegal. We can argue that the Canadian government just wants the safety of its citizens – there’s no ulterior motive or excessive use of power on display here.
When is the Use of Forks Acceptable in Canada?
As said earlier, the law isn’t entirely strict – it’s not like the police go house to house searching for fork owners. Although the purchase of forks in Canada is quite rare as retail stores don’t bother stocking them, you can own a fork in your house and not necessarily be charged with committing a crime. Provided you used it within your home, it’s all good.
While private ownership is legal, you can’t move with your fork in public – unless you want to be charged for illegal possession of a weapon.
How did Forks Become Illegal in Canada?
Perhaps this may be the last question in your mind. According to history, the use of forks in Canada dates back to the 16th century – originally as part of kitchen utensils by the first European settlers in the country. Meanwhile, as expected with a lot of stories before the 20th century, there have been a lot of details filtered from the true story. Today, there are many theories about how forks were introduced in Canada, and how they became illegal items not to be possessed or used in public places.
Facts You Need to Know About Forks in Canada
- Forks (especially carabiner-style) are seen as a weapon in the eyes of Canadian law.
- Moving around with a fork is considered disorderly conduct.
- You can face severe penalties if you use a fork as a tool for committing a crime.
- Prisons in Canada classify forks as contraband items. If found with one in prison, you are more likely to receive additional penalties.
- You can be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon if you’re seen with a fork in public.
- Sales of forks (whether online or in walk-in stores) are seen as weapon trafficking in the eyes of Canadian law.
- Forks are also seen as a replacement for lethal weapons since it is easy to use for unlawful activities such as robbery, bullying, and many more. Therefore, it is illegal to own.