Halloween, part deux: Montrealers may double-dip on candy after delay

MONTREAL — Trick-or-treaters taking a weather-delayed second stab at Halloween were faced with strong winds — and far colder temperatures than the night before — as they ventured onto the streets of Montreal and other communities Friday night.

While the rest of Canada woke up Friday with a sugar junkie's remorse, several Quebec towns and cities had requested their residents take a pass until Friday as heavy rain fell throughout the night.

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That didn't stop small pockets of children in those same communities from flouting the edict, trying to find that rare glowing jack-o'-lantern signalling available candy.

Montrealer Jennifer Dorner decided to have a look on Thursday in the borough of Outremont, a Montreal neighbourhood where trick-or-treating had been postponed.

"My youngest daughter has been working on her costume since the summer — so she literally has been sewing it herself," Dorner said. "So we decided to go out on Halloween night and see what's up."

They spent a few hours walking through darkened residential streets and the district's main commercial area, finding candy at the odd home and even some businesses.

"We were out for a couple of hours at least, and it was few and far between in terms of people giving out candy, but it was kind of part of the fun," Dorner said.

"It turned out to be the best Halloween ever, it was almost a bit more special — it meant a lot of walking, but the experience of having to work hard for a small bag of candy was worth it."

The decision to postpone Halloween by one day didn't go over well with many parents, especially as the rain gave way to powerful winds on Friday that downed trees and power lines across southwestern Quebec, plunging nearly a million hydro customers into darkness at its peak.

Carly Grossman, a mother of two in Montreal West, said her five-year-old daughter trick-or-treated for about an hour and the weather was not an issue as she accumulated her Halloween stash.

"As parents we should make the decision of whether or not it's a good idea to venture out, but our kids are resilient and can handle some nasty weather," Grossman said. "And they should also learn to handle disappointment if plans change."

There would be no double-dipping for her kids — Grossman said they'd stay in Friday and enjoy their haul.

However, Dorner admitted she would allow her kids to go out again — if they get a new costume.

"I think it's fine — they worked so hard last night to get 25 candies," she said Friday.

Double-dipping and going out both nights was also fully endorsed by the province's treasury board president — who oversees the province's purse strings.

"The kids could have an excuse to have both days," Christian Dube joked with reporters Thursday.

"First, I love chocolate and I think with my role on making sure that we pay the right price, I would suggest we should go on Friday because we'll have the candies on discount, so I think that's the right way to look at it."

A few dozen communities began making the call Wednesday to postpone the annual candy collection as weather forecasters predicted heavy rains and high winds.

While she wasn't the first to announce the postponement, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante's decision to follow the trend didn't go over well.

As criticism mounted on social media under the hashtag #Halloweengate, Plante fired back, saying in a tweet: "Damn(ed) if you do, damn(ed) if you don't."

Dorner said the issue was much discussed at her house in recent days.

"My first reaction is, 'This is absurd, you can't change this date because it relies on everyone being on the same page,'" Dorner said, adding that at the same time, she understood the reasoning of municipal officials.

That said, Dorner added the issue was better left to parents to consult the forecast and decide for themselves.

"In the end we're going to get two Halloweens so that's not so bad," she said with a laugh.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2019.

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