Law Girl Blog: Halloween


I have grown to enjoy Halloween more as an adult than I did as a child. Usually, Halloween falling on a weekend like this year would mean even more fun and excitement for everyone. I love watching my kids’ faces light up with excitement after the weight of their candy bags get heavier after each house they visit. I love the adult get-togethers in my neighbourhood. I love the Halloween events I’ve had the pleasure of attending, often downtown at incredible venues. Not this year. The “hotspots” which currently include Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York Region will not have trick-or-treating in an effort to avoid an increase in the number of coronavirus numbers.

We continue to be living through a pandemic and COVID fatigue has most certainly set in, with many tired of the ongoing restrictions.

Regardless of your sentiments towards the government’s actions, it’s important for individuals to ensure safety and legal compliance.

Every year, those giving out candy are reminded to ensure proper lights in front of their homes, to provide clear paths free of hazards and to remedy slippery conditions.
Trick-or-treaters are reminded to wear masks that do not impede their ability to see, carry a flashlight in dark areas, wear a jacket in cool weather and try to wear reflective tape to ensure that they are visible. Also, candy/treats should not be consumed until they are properly checked and should be discarded if unwrapped. Motorists are reminded to avoid driving if possible or drive slower and with increased vigilance. These reminders should certainly be considered for those in Ontario that are outside the “hotspots”. Injuries or impairments arising from failing to heed this advice could result in civil lawsuits. At present, there are limits on numbers for indoor gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Failure to comply could result in a fine of $750 for attendees and $10,000 for the organizers.

The issue is not just a fine but if someone contracts COVID-19 as a result of the host’s negligence which causes health issues, the host could be held liable. The host’s home insurance policy likely won’t cover claims related to COVID-19 due to exclusionary clauses contained in the policy which will mean that if the claim is successful, the host would be required to pay from their own pocket. My husband and I told the kids that this year we are watching a scary movie on our comfy sofa with throw blankets, popcorn and lots of store bought candy (and dad’s candy limit rule does not apply). I intend on turning the fireplace on but anticipate my husband’s complaints of it being too hot will start about 8 minutes later. Although this is not what we usually do on Halloween, I think each of us are quietly looking forward to a cozy night in with each other…and of course, the candy