Bathurst bylaw sparks debate about future of trick-treat for over-14 crowd

Hunter River resident Lucy Weurtz believes in the Bathurst Halloween bylaws Halloween debate on Bathurst bylaw. Kyle LaRusic photo.

By Kyle LaRusic

Oct. 28, 2016

Erynn MacLeod hates the idea of a bylaw preventing people over 14 from trick-or-treating. And she is not a fan of a 7 p.m. curfew.

“If kids under 14 are going in at seven, that isn’t going to stop a bunch of teenagers from going out and egging houses.”

The rule about having to be under 14 is also stupid, said the high school student.

“I’m 17 and still going trick-or-treating. A girl needs her candy.”

A bylaw was put in place in Bathurst, N.B. preventing people over 14 from trick-or-treating. There is also a 7 p.m. curfew. One of the reasons is to prevent teenagers from causing mischief.

Carol, she asked her last name not be used, is the mother of two boys who are both grown up, but her kids went trick-or-treating well past the age of 14.

“Out of the 20 years I lived in my house, we’ve been egged once. That’s a pretty good ratio if you ask me,” she said.

A 7 p.m. curfew doesn’t give people enough time to do much either, she said.

“Going by personal experience, Halloween became a big family tradition where we would take the kids to visit family members. Seven is way too early to do all that and still trick-or-treat.”

Lucy Weurtz likes the idea of the bylaw.

“By 7 p.m. it gets really dark outside and it would be dangerous for kids to walk around,” the college student said.

She stopped trick-or-treating at 12 and others should do the same, she said

“By the time you turn 14 you’re considered a teenager. Halloween is for the children, not teenagers.”

Charlottetown councillor Mitch Tweel said such rules may be a little harsh, but should be discussed with members of the community before decisions like this are made.

“Halloween is fun for a lot of people and different communities celebrate different ways,” said the Chair of the parks and recreation committee.

When asked if he would be going out trick-or-treating, he laughed.

“If I went out, I think I would just scare everybody away.”