The W
Views: 100666805
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Calendar | Color chart | Log in for more!
20.11.14 1721
The W - Current Events & Politics - Alberta: Smoking law forces alcoholics to apply for liquor license\
This thread has 36 referrals leading to it
Register and log in to post!
Pages: 1(1890 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
User
Post (5 total)
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1297 days
Last activity: 1094 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
No-smoking law creates quandary for 'sober bar'
Told to serve liquor where alcoholics meet

Jason Markusoff
Journal Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2003

EDMONTON - A "sober bar" that caters to recovering alcoholics was told Thursday to get a liquor licence and start serving alcohol if it wants to let customers smoke.

A city bylaw inspector's warning creates a painful Catch-22 for the owners of north-side Keep it Simple club. If they stay dry and ban smoking, they say they'll lose 90 per cent of their business.

If they start selling liquor, they'll be tempting many patrons to return to addiction.

"The city is forcing us to promote alcohol as the only way we can keep smoking," co-owner Tom Charbonneau said. "Other restaurants and bars have that option, but we don't."

Charbonneau and Lawrence Lathe opened Keep It Simple two years ago to give recovering alcoholics, gambling or drug addicts a bar-like atmosphere without the booze they have to shun. They also hold meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and other 12-step programs in a back room.

Most former addicts smoke; it gives them at least one vice, Charbonneau said.

A bylaw inspector visited the club Thursday, for the first time since the July 1 start of Edmonton's anti-smoking bylaw, which only allows smoking in bars with a minors-prohibited liquor licence.

She let Charbonneau and fellow co-owner Lawrence Lathe off with a warning, but they'd need to get a licence to continue to allow smoking.

However, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission refused to issue them a licence Thursday, because they weren't planning to actually sell liquor.

"They weren't looking for a liquor licence, they were looking for a smoking licence," said Alberta Gaming spokeswoman Marilyn Carlyle-Helms.

Charbonneau said he plans to ask the city if there is a way to get around the bylaw, without having to bring in alcohol.

"If they say I have to serve a 12-pack, I will buy a 12-pack of beer, sell it for $5 a can, call all the media, stand in front of our sober club and pour it all out on the ground, just to show them how ridiculous it is," Charbonneau said.

A city official said the rules are clear on the bylaw, and the owners knew about the restrictions well in advance.

"This is a decision that has affected a number of other establishments in the city," said Mark Garrett, manager of the city's development compliance branch.

Charbonneau had erroneously thought the nightclub would be exempt because it was a members-only facility. His adjacent Keep It Simple coffee shop went non-smoking on July 1 and has suffered a 30-per-cent drop in business, he said.

The bar has 300 members and Charbonneau said it serves juice, pop and food to 200 people a night.

Bar regular Les Labine sat at a table Thursday, smoking with a friend visiting from Ontario. He's avoided drinking for four months, and would come back less often if the club served alcohol.

"It's part of the recovery process to avoid a bar," he said.

And a smoking ban would also turn Labine away. He's not sure where he'd go, he said.

Charbonneau fears many avid smokers would start visiting the very liquor bars where their addictions began. Keep It Simple has been their refuge.

"This has been a mainstay in the recovery community."





"Each time I've met Huffington, I wondered if she was not somehow the long-lost daughter of Madame Nicolai Ceaucescu, or a genetic cross between Martha Stewart and Count Dracula. Had this Greek-born harpy lived in medieval times, she would have been sewn up in a bag with a rooster and two snakes and thrown into the nearest river."
-- Eric Margolis, Toronto Star
Promote this thread!
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3406 days
Last activity: 3315 days
ICQ:  
#2 Posted on
Hard is this may be to believe, in Ontario things are much worse. Neighbouring towns are all making different laws; in my hometown you can't smoke in a restaurant, a bar, on a patio, or even in a private club like a Royal Canadian Legion hall. It's an absolutely disgusting assault on the rights of business owners and private citizens.

As far as the Edmonton case this is ridiculous, especially in a province that is usually so pro-business and pro-individual freedoms. I don't think I've ever heard of a liquor licensing board in any province actually doing checks to make sure that places that hold a permit are actually selling booze. The point of such a board is supposed to be to a.) ensure that liquor is not distributed irresponsibly and b.) collect licensing fees. Presumably if this sober bar were granted a license it would be paying the same fees as anyone else, and if it's not selling booze at all it certainly wouldn't be distributing alcohol irresponsibly. This is just stupid; an abuse of power.

If they can't get a liquor license, why not just make the place an over-19 club? It's clear the distinction in the law (similar to the one in Napanee, ON) is that they don't want underagers subjected to cigarette smoke. Fine. Put a sign in the window that you need to be 19 years old (or whatever the drinking age in AB is) to come in. Have someone there checking IDs. No big deal. Then again, someone will probably cry discrimination over that too...
Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

Since last post: 3777 days
Last activity: 3246 days
AIM:  
#3 Posted on
Actually, the rep from the Gaming and Liquor commision may have hit on the best solution in her statement.

Smoking licenses. Cut down the price for liquor licenses, come up with a separate smoking (or "smoking allowed on this premises") license. (Ideally, cut the liquor license fee in half and make the smoking version the same price, so businesses with existing licenses wouldn't wind up paying more for what they have.) Offer them together automatically, but give the option to separate them if the particular business wants just one or the other.



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3406 days
Last activity: 3315 days
ICQ:  
#4 Posted on
Requiring a license implies an assumption of responsibility, whether it's practicing safe driving, hunting game, or abiding by liquor laws. It's not as if establishments could limit the number of cigarettes a person smokes; it's totally different than watching to make sure you don't serve a patron alcohol past the point of intoxication.

I don't think the city, or any city for that matter, has the right to say what legal activities can occur on private property. If you want to make smoking an illegal activity within city limits that's different - that's not right either, but at least then you'd be dealing with a matter of criminal activity.

If you want to require any restaurants or bars (or whatever) where smoking is allowed to post that fact at their entrances, that I could live with. That way people can choose for themselves whether they're willing to be subjected to second hand smoke. Let's not forget how the market works...if there were much interest in non-smoking bars or restaurants over places where smoking is allowed, those places would already exist in great numbers. The bar crowd wants to smoke. Let them. If you don't like it (and for the record, I can't stant second hand smoke), don't go. No one is forcing you.

Same thing goes for the employees supposedly being protected by the law. It's not as if they didn't know the environment when they took the job in the first place. If you don't want to work around smoke, don't apply to work in a bar. There are plenty of other people who'll do it.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1297 days
Last activity: 1094 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29

    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    Same thing goes for the employees supposedly being protected by the law. It's not as if they didn't know the environment when they took the job in the first place. If you don't want to work around smoke, don't apply to work in a bar. There are plenty of other people who'll do it.

But that requires an amount of logic the do-gooders don't have...



"Each time I've met Huffington, I wondered if she was not somehow the long-lost daughter of Madame Nicolai Ceaucescu, or a genetic cross between Martha Stewart and Count Dracula. Had this Greek-born harpy lived in medieval times, she would have been sewn up in a bag with a rooster and two snakes and thrown into the nearest river."
-- Eric Margolis, Toronto Star
Pages: 1Thread ahead: I love the smell of napalm in Iraq
Next thread: Kudos to the ESA
Previous thread: Republicans and Democrats Can't Avoid Homosexual Politics--But Where are the Votes?
(1890 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
Personally, I don't discount the guy's theory out of hand, but I am not going to put any stock in it until it is peer reviewed and stands up to scrutiny from people who ARE qualified to judge the data. Until then, I am not going to go gaga over it.
The W - Current Events & Politics - Alberta: Smoking law forces alcoholics to apply for liquor license\Register and log in to post!

The W™ message board

ZimBoard
©2001-2014 Brothers Zim

This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.106 seconds.