Bathurst — Bathurst Police, aided by the RCMP child exploitation unit, say they have broken up a child labour operation perpetrated on Halloween night.
Police say more than 15 teenagers were arrested Tuesday morning after it was discovered they were paying younger children to collect candy for them, as a recently implemented bylaw prevented anyone over 14 years old from trick-or-treating. Groups of children would go out a collect their candy, after which they would be given new costumes provided by the older teens; the children would then canvass the same neighbourhoods again.
As he was led from the courthouse still sporting a convincing Donald Trump costume, accused ringleader Serge Gallant defended the group’s actions. “We considered going out and egging and TP’ing every house we could to show our displeasure at the bylaw, but man, all we really wanted was some free candy.
“I can guarantee you next year if this bylaw is in place, we’ll be going to every store, buying every roll of toilet paper and tray of eggs leading up to Halloween night,” he went on. “We’ll see how Bathurst council likes not being able to wipe their bums or make an omelet.”
Gallant claimed the teens gave the children a small cut of the candied contraband. “We didn’t just bully them into doing it; think of how much exercise the kids got by doing it twice, not to mention the practical business experience!”
The Manatee interviewed one of the teens’ teachers, Rita Richard, who commended her students’ industrious spirit. “People say teenagers are lazy and do nothing but cause trouble, but I’m actually impressed they came up with this,” she told our reporter. “Any of them who are in my entrepreneurship class are getting a A.”
Self-acclaimed neighbourhood crank Alcide Bergeron weighed in. “This was the first year my house wasn’t egged or toilet-papered, so I think Bathurst council made the right decision… although I was kinda looking forward to seeing some of those sexy Harley Quinn costumes I’ve been hearing about.”