arviat

Armed guards protect trick or treaters from polar bears in some parts of Canada

Has soggy weather got you down this Halloween? Are you worried that you'll be cold in your costume? Or that local children won't enjoy trick or treating as much this year as if it were dry?

Suck it up.

Because today I learned that kids in Arviat, Nunavut — where it's currently a brisk -5 C outside — trick or treat each year under the threat of actual polar bear attacks.

So common are polar bears in this hamlet on the western shore of Canada's Hudson Bay that adult volunteers form a dedicated "Halloween bear patrol" each year in order to protect the lives of their brave young children.

I kid you not, this is a thing — armed guards protect little kids from polar bears on Halloween in Nunavut. 

Meanwhile, in Montreal and Ottawa, Halloween has been officially postponed on account of heavy rain.

"Please be bear aware," reads a public service announcement on the Hamlet of Arviat's Facebook page announcing the Halloween bear patrol.

"The fire department volunteers, the SAR volunteers and by-law officers will be assisting the Department of Environment's Bear Patrol members this evening from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. to add extra coverage around the hamlet."

While crews will be out with weapons to protect everyone from harm, children within the community of roughly 3,000 people are still encouraged to come to Arviat's community hall in costume to celebrate Halloween instead of going door-to-door for candy.

"In response to the growing number of polar bears in and around the community, the Hamlet of Arviat first discouraged outdoor trick-or-treating in 2014, instead holding an indoor event for children to attend," explains Nunasquiat News. "And that's what will happen again this year."

There is no official ban on trick-or-treating, however, hence the presence of polar bear protection squads outside.

If only Montreal and Ottawa could find a way to protect their citizens from the threat of sky water.

Lead photo by

Jordan Kunni


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