"sports" and gentlemen of leisure who hang around
poolrooms, picture shows, cabarets, railway stations, steamboat
landings, street corners, and other places with nothing in
particular to do, and a reasonable amount of health to do it with,
please take notice: Loafing is now illegal.
The recent order in
council declares "all persons domiciled in Canada shall, in
absence of reasonable grounds to the contrary, engage in useful
At this stage of the
world's history, when every man available is necessary to the
safety of the country, it seems remarkable that there
are any of the class referred to above left in Canada, but
apparently there are.
picture shows, report a thriving business.
The hobo is still a frequent visitor on his aimless way back and
There are still "sports" at large with nothing tto do
but smoke cigarettes and go to ball games and places of light
Quite rightly, the
Government has made it illegal for these persons to waste their
time and strength on cigarettes and gentle amusements, tango
teas, and pinochle in the barn.
They are now ordered to
get to work, and if they do not work as free men, they will have
to work as prisoners, and work at "hard labor."
In this connection it is
interesting to compare the useful work performed by shoe-shiners,
soda dispensers, theatre ushers,
ribbon salesmen and such useful citizens, with the tramps and the
'sport" who lives on his wits. It is doubtful if there is
much to really choose between these two classes so far as
economical results to society are concerned.
The man that cleans your
boots might very well be employed at hoeing potatoes, leaving his
customer to spare five minutes of his valuable time to clean his
The man who has so little
manhood in him as to be content to spend his days selling
baby-ribbon in a departmental store, would achieve an improved
manhood driving a team on a farm, if he could be trusted to do so,
or helping with the chores around a barn.
The new law, while not
going so far as to displace men from non-essential or silly
employments which could better be filled by young girls, still
makes it difficult for a man to really loaf.
The age limit is from 16
to 60, during which a man is supposed to be capable of some kind
of useful work, and if he is not so engaged he must have certain
-- he must be a bona fide student in training for some useful
occupation or attending some recognized educational institution;
-- he must be some one who is out of a job temporarily owning to
difficulties with his employer common to similar difficulties with
his fellow employees and the same employer; or
-- he much be reasonably unable to find a job.
Other excuses do not go.
Convictions before a
magistrate for an offence under this new anti-loafing law renders
the offender liable to a penalty not exceeding $100 and
In default of the loafer's
ability to pay, he must serve a period not exceeding six months in
a common jail or any institution or farm owned by a municipality
or province established for such purposes, and put in the time at
Where a conviction is
obtained by a municipality, the municipal treasury will receive
Where proceedings are
instituted by a provincial officer, the provincial treasuy shall
receive the money.
Where proceedings are
instituted within a municipality by any other person, the fine is
divided equally between the municipality and the province.