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A Bunch of Suckers

After seeing the riots in nearby Vancouver after the Stanley Cup hockey finals, the city of Victoria, B.C., Canada, was dreading the celebrations on Canada Day: 30,000 revelers were expected in the Inner Harbor area — 30,000 young, rowdy, drunk people. When the day came, police moved into the crowed with lollipops, each emblazoned with the Canadian flag. And the crowd loved them. The cops and other city officials did too: there was no serious violence. “It’s hard to yell if you’ve got a lollipop in your mouth,” explained councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who helped to hand out 12,000 suckers. “They were invariably polite once the lollipops were presented.” But local bars say candy giveaways won’t become a regular tool to calm down drunk customers. “It’s kind of cool and a good way for council and police to build relationships,” says publican Scott Gurney, the head of the Victoria Bar and Cabaret Association, “but for bar managers and owners there are, unfortunately in this day and age, always liability issues.” (RC/Victoria Times Colonist) ...Selling people alcoholic beverages until they are drunk: good business sense. Giving someone candy to reduce violent tendencies: a liability issue.
Publication Date: 31 July 2011
This story is in True’s book collection, Volume 18.

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