Ground control to Major Tom… if we catch you running an illegal gambling ring up there you’re in big trouble, mister. Earlier this week, the Canadian government introduced a proposal to make crimes on the moon a legitimate offense. It’s not without rhyme or reason, though.
First off, shoutout to the CBC for uncovering this hidden part of the 400-plus page Budget Implementation Act that was tabled in the House of Commons. Basically, with a trip to the moon on the horizon, Canada is making sure that all of its space ducks are in a row.
Turns out, Canada has already thought about ‘space law’ and how it applies to Canadian astronauts. If you look in a niche section of the Criminal Code, you’ll find that those who are on a space flight or aboard the International Space Station are expected to uphold the laws of Canada. And if they do manage to break a Canadian law, they will be treated as though that offence was committed in Canada.
So, this proposal is more like an expansion than something entirely new. In short, Canada is participating in the ‘Lunar Gateway‘ mission. Which if you didn’t know is a NASA-led, international mission to once more send astronauts to the moon and its orbit, this time with a goal to establish easier and safer ways for further space exploration.
And since Canada’s current laws don’t cover crimes on the moon, Canadian astronauts could technically get away with insurance fraud or whatever the heck goes on up there. Nah, just kidding- we trust that we’re only sending the best of the best up there, but a little due diligence is only fair.