Tommy Boucher was fined $75 for giving away free hugs to people at the Jean-Talon Metro station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Nov. 22. He wore a green shirt that said: “Free Hugs” in French and English.
Boucher noted on his blog that he was approached by two Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) inspectors who asked if he had a permit. Boucher did not have the permit, so an inspector fined him for violating part of STM By-Law R-036:
In a metro station, after obtaining the authorization of the Societe, it is permitted to offer for sale or lease services or merchandise, or to exhibit or distribute such services or merchandise, subject to the other restrictions in the present By-law. Under any other circumstance or in any other place, such activities are forbidden.
In other words, Boucher was fined because he was soliciting his “services” — free hugs — without permission from the STM.