SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE JULY 2014

Well well… It seems every time you turn around the various levels of government find a way to stick it to the commoner … Christy Clark’s Provincial Liberals latest favour for the people is called ‘Happy Hour’ … Now I’ve seen people prematurely rejoicing before realizing that it turns out to be just a cleverly disguised liquor minimum price increase … I bet they’re backslapping up a storm in the Legislature, now that they can spin this as a non-taxation cash grab …

These new minimum prices are at least 10 cents per ounce higher than any other Canadian province … Per ounce! The average beer is about 12 ounces … That’s $1.20 price hike per beer higher than anywhere else in the country … This is outrageous! … This means that every bar that had cheaper beer prices below 5 dollars per 20 ounces of draught, now is forced to raise their prices … Of course, the talk about the measurements is in ounces, when most Canadian fluids are marked in millilitres to add to the confusion …

So in my estimate, every pub or dive bar that isn’t a part of the ‘barboys’ union will be impacted … These establishments are already struggling to stay open by having reasonable prices for liquor and various forms of entertainment to draw in patrons … Of course, this doesn’t affect the drone attended nightclubs who already have high prices and are never open during happy hour anyway …

Another win win for the big Barboys … Let’s make sure there is nowhere else to go besides club Credit Card … It may be a slow rotting death for Karaoke Bars …Sports Bars … Small live music venues … and mom and pop restaurants with acoustic entertainment and dancing … More people will be showing up to venues later, packing even more illicit road pops along for alley drinking … I’m sure there will be more illegal venues emerging as an alternative … I guess the City of Vancouver’s work to try to legitimize alternative venues will all be for naught, as we back pedal to the days of economical at home drinking …

Is anyone else really tired of the wrath from government decisions, only seeming to impact the dwindling middle class and make the working poor even more encumbered … How is it fair that the corporations, who rake in millions of dollars, seem to get all the tax breaks and subsidies? …

Also this week, it’s being reported that the Federal Government has rescinded the ludicrous restrictions burdening Temporary Foreign Workers that are classified as Musicians … It seems that the dreaded dark ages, fax only, 8 page Labour Market Opinion, which they started charging a fee for last summer is gone … Also, securing a 400+ dollar work permit per band member will not be required any longer … This is great news for previously hampered venues, such as pubs and restaurants, that were not primary use, live music venues … From what I’ve read about the changes, you will still need to file some paperwork, such as the Contract and Immigration Roster, as well as still remit any taxes on the money a foreign band earns in Canada …

One can hope that since the border doesn’t have to trouble themselves with squeezing venue type fees out of the bands anymore, that they will not busy themselves by nitpicking any other sort of issues by judging the appearance of any rock and roll persona … I’m still taking this latest news with a grain of salt, as I await the big ‘but’ clause to kick in … Fingers crossed …