Tuesday 16 June 2015

Can't See the Disorder for the Dollars

Oh Canada ... you send such a confusing message at times. I watch a bit of CBC, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm a skimmer even when I watch the news. I know a little about a lot of different topics in the news now.  A little about everything;  a lot about nothin'.  This leads me to see a somewhat vague macro view of Canada and her Provinces.

Ah yes ... the macro view.  These days the macro view screams trouble in my opinion.  There are warnings then there are advertisements for the very product you were being warned about.

How in the heck does that compute?

This timeline is humorous to me:

March 2 2015:  Study was published in an issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal stating that 20% of Canadians exhibit signs of a drinking disorder.  Discussions around this study stated that Canada's current approach to at-risk drinking is a "systematic failure".

April 16 2015:  Premiere Kathleen Wynne decides to allow beer and wine to be sold in 450 supermarkets in Ontario.  So if you have a drinking problem, and the study says 20% of you do, then you can't even go get your groceries without being tempted.

June 15 2015:  Justice Minister Peter MacKay announces tougher measures for drunk drivers causing death.  This will actively change the current mandatory minimum sentencing from a minimum $1000 fine to a minimum 6 years in prison.  Yikes.  This move is backed by mothers in particular who lost children to drunk driving.  It seems MacKay has a softness for drunk driving deaths but not so much for deaths of the hundreds of murdered and missing aboriginal women.  If only we all could separate and compartmentalize as well as MacKay and his dishonourable peers.

So does the booze go on my shopping list or do I save it for special occasions only?  I'm so confused right now that I might just get drunk tonight to see if I see their logic more clearly!  Also, Ontario is crazy about this "Craft Brewery" thing.  It's a good thing for those of us who want to step back from the big industry production we've seen up until now.  These yummy concoctions are made in small batches right onsite of where they're being sold.  Day by day, pint by pint, they're growing a grassroots industry that adds colour and flavour to even my city.

In fact, special measures, grants, employment subsidies have been brought about by the Ontario Liberals to encourage this Craft Beer and Wine industry.  A friend of mine works at one trimming the grape vines carefully.  The Winery owner is applying to have her wages subsidized by the Ontario Government.

So we're subsidizing an industry that produces something that kills 50,000 Canadians a year AND impairs its users?  I've had a few of the amazingly bitter concoctions of beer at my local craft brewery. The one I tried was 9% alcohol!!  I basically floated home ... up Princess Street!  I'm a bartender and the highest alcohol content in my fridge is 7%.  Bang for your buck is great, but c'mon! Do bartenders who serve these brews with higher content have special training?  The only real reason I personally notice the % is because it's my job, and it's a problem I see every day that I work.  Surely Ontario could squeeze out a few warnings to drink craft beer and wine responsibly, don't you think?!

My big thing is personal choice.  You likely get that by now.  And some may argue that this IS giving us all personal choice.  Well ... maybe.  But that choice is being influenced by hypnosis marketing and Government subsidies.  It almost seems bait & switch-ish to me ....

"Here... drink this, buy that.  Support your local industry!  But if you over-indulge, to the wolves you go!!"

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