Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cemetery Laws in New Brunswick

It has crossed my mind on a number of occassions; what exactly are the laws/regulations regarding cemeteries in the province of New Brunswick? Well, after surfing around the website, I found the "Cemetery Companies Act", which can be read at

Though the act (updated last in 1994) principally focuses on regulating the companies that operation a cemetery, the act does point out some interesting items:

1. Its illegal to be buried in a vault, crypt or under a church. Also, burial must be within 5 metres of a church or building outer walls.
2. Its a violation to remove a monument without the consent of the cemetery company.
3. Technically, a person can be punished under the criminal code for cutting a tree, bush or plant in a cemetery. Same goes with playing games and shooting guns in cemeteries. Unfortunately the law is not tough enough on vandals when they are caught damaging headstones.

There are plenty other interesting regulations governing cemeteries. One item that I found missing was the issue of people burying pets/animals in cemeteries. Oddly enough, I know of two cases where this was done and I always thought it was illegal. Thoughts?

While on the subject, there are a few unwritten rules or etiquette when it comes to cemeteries:
1. Do not remove items from a cemetery - An old-wives' tale says that these items will bring bad luck and upset the spirits.
2. Cemeteries are closed at dusk - Though this rule sound like something from a vampire tale, it is common knowledge that cemeteries close a dusk, even if the gates (if applicable) are not closed.
3. Don't walk across the burial plots, stay on the trails - Out of respect for those that lie at rest, visitors should try and keep to foot paths and roadways.

Do you know of any other rules regarding cemeteries?

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