Montreal record stores are getting hit with big fines. Their crime? Staying open after 5pm on weekends.

They do things differently in Quebec. All rental leases in the province are up July 1. It wasn’t all that long ago that all car dealerships had to close on weekends (yes, including Saturdays.) And then there’s this weird rule about how long a record store can stay open on Saturdays and Sundays.

The law is very clear on the matter. All commercial entities aside from pharmacies and grocery stores can open only between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends. Anyone who dares stay open later than that risks a heavy fine.

In the case of record stores, a couple of shops in the Mile End area of Montreal have been hit by fines totally up to $3,000.

How did the owners find out about this weird law? When they got a visit from an inspector from Quebec’s Ministère de l’économie et de l’innovation. Oh, and that violation visit came, on of all days, Record Store Day back in April. First offence was $1,500 and $3,000 for repeat offences. The only exemptions are for any sort of store in a tourist area. Mile End is not a tourist area?

This has these shops kinda freaked out. At least one reports saying that he does one-third of his daily weekend business between 5pm and 8pm.

Only in Quebec. Read more at the Montreal Gazette.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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