Before you represent, you gotta stop to pay the rent

Want to hear something outrageous? In order to get a liquor license, a Montreal bar had to promise not to book any Hip Hop acts. According to the bar, the licensing regulator required that they sign such an agreement, at the behest of the police. The cops are firing back that they’d never make such a demand, as it would be illegal (and we all know that Sûreté du Québec would never do anything illegal).

Sadly, this, of course, means that some prominent Canadian acts aren’t welcome in Montreal, due to their gang affiliations.

Sorry, Barenaked Ladies, but your kind just isn’t welcome in the ever-tolerant province of Quebec.

There are concerns throughout the black and Hip Hop communities (note to government officials, they’re two different things) that this  demand is being placed on more and more bars, as another example of racial profiling. No further proof has come out, but there is a definite history of antagonism between the police and the citizenry.

The bar, itself, received a bit of push-back on their decision to accept the unethical condition placed on their liquor license. It would be nice if they would stand up the bullies in the government, but they have bills pay, and before you represent, you gotta stop to pay the rent.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. To what extent is the government of Montreal representative of “The People” of Montreal?

  2. And the only Beatles song the acts can cover is Michelle.

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