Fact Check

Did Alberta, Canada, Ban Girls From Speaking Without a License?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Oct. 18, 2019

Canadian flag made up of separate jigsaw puzzle pieces, illustration. (Getty Images)
Canadian flag made up of separate jigsaw puzzle pieces, illustration. (Image Via Getty Images)
In October 2019, the Canadian province of Alberta introduced a law banning females aged under 18 from speaking publicly without a license.

On Oct. 16, The Beaverton website published an article positing that the Canadian province of Alberta had passed a law that made it illegal for girls to speak out publicly unless they have a special license:

"Alberta Passes Law Prohibiting Females Under 18 From Speaking Without a License"

The Alberta government has pulled an all nighter hammering out a new law that forces all females under the age of majority to apply for and receive a government license before expressing themselves verbally within the confines of the province.

“Contrary to what’s being bandied about in the press, this has nothing to do with any specific current events,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a press conference announcing the new law. “This is solely about keeping Alberta safe from unlicensed underage female communication.”

“I want to make it clear that the government of Alberta is not afraid of teenage girls,” Kenney said. “And it’s currently illegal for any of them to say otherwise.” Though the licensing process is similar to applying for a passport and it will take at least a month for the first licenses to be granted, there is no grace period included in the law, which goes into effect immediately.

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

"The Beaverton is a news satire and parody publication. All articles contained within this website and on its social media accounts, however similar to real events, are fictitious. When public figures or actual businesses are mentioned by name, the corresponding story details are invented. In all other cases, any resemblance to actual persons, businesses or events is entirely coincidental."

The Oct. 16 article featured a photograph of the prominent Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, on the same day that she arrived in Alberta. Thunberg, who is 16 years old and has attracted opprobrium from some commentators based on her relative youth, was scheduled to take part in a climate strike at the Alberta Legislature in the provincial capital Edmonton on Oct. 18.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Gillis, Mary.  "Alberta Passes Law Prohibiting Females Under 18 From Speaking Without a License."   The Beaverton.  16 October 2019.

CBC News.  "Activist Greta Thunberg Arrives in Alberta Ahead of Climate Strike at Legislature."   16 October 2019.

Lowry, Rich.  "Don't Listen to Greta Thunberg."   The National Review.  24 September 2019.