Quebec bar owners, apparently miffed that they can only stay open until 3am, are proposing a change in the law that would allow them to stay open until 6am, serving non-alcoholic drinks and allowing people to detox before heading home. They expertly play the drunk-driving card to try and get public support on their side.
It sounds fantastic at first glance, but knowing how desperately bar owners depend on alcohol sales to stay afloat, I’m asking myself why they would want to stay open three hours later, incurring more expenses, but gaining no further revenue through their cash cow.
I think the immediate benefit from bars due to this legislation is that while it would prohibit selling alcohol after 3am, it would not stop the drinking of alcohol. So instead of packing it in and stumbling home as the chairs are put on the tables, “last call” would be the cue to buy a few more pitchers to get around the law.
But that’s just me being paranoid. I’m sure bar owners care about their customers’ well-being much more than the bottom line.
Parties at Outremont borough hall are about to become a lot less entertaining. The media had a field day today with revelations from a concerned citizen that the borough is spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on scotch and other booze for elected officials. The city is now investigating whether anything improper occurred.
The story hit the fan this morning as a result of an exclusive investigative scoop by La Presse … uhh, I mean an exclusive investigative scoop by Le Devoir. In reality, it was just some guy who bothered to read the borough’s financial documents where the booze money is clearly spelled out.
Outremont mayor Stéphane Harbour is, of course, taking full responsibility now that he’s realized the media thinks what he’s doing is wrong. And while he never worked very closely with the
abused intern disgraced aide booze, he realizes that the buck stops with him and he’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Somehow I doubt this will be the end of waste in spending by municipal governments.
UPDATE (Sept. 28): Outremont invites journalists to see the booze in question, though L’Express d’Outremont, the local community paper, is peeved that they weren’t invited.
UPDATE (Oct. 1): Looking at small-government budgets is really the gift that keeps on giving. RadCan has another “EXCLUSIVE” on expensive Christmas parties paid for by the borough.
UPDATE (Oct. 9): The Toronto Star has a story summarizing the situation.
UPDATE (Oct. 12): SEE YA!
The McGill Daily has an interesting look at the science behind alcohol-induced blackouts.