‘Outdated’ Nova Scotia law requires all men to shovel highway snow

Luke Simcoe
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If you’re an able-bodied man in Nova Scotia, pick up your snow shovel. It’s the law.

An unwittingly law-abiding Nova Scotia man upholds his duty to the province.

According to the province’s Public Highways Act, “all physically fit male persons between the ages of 16 and 60… are required to work with their shovels on the highways during the winter whenever the highways become impassable from snow.”

The law has been on the books in Nova Scotia since the act was penned in the 1930s and survived the most recent overhaul in 1989. However, Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Kim McKeage called the rule “outdated” and said it’s not enforced.

According to McKeage, lawmakers are looking at modernizing the act.

Clues to the law’s vestigial nature can be found in its wording, which requires men to shovel “forthwith” and threatens scofflaws with a whopping fine of “not more than $10.”

Organizations: Ministry of Transportation

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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