Consumer Information

Streaming Taxes In Quebec

It appears that streaming services like Netflix might be subject to provincial sales taxes in Quebec soon.

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said this could be a possibility soon, depending on the details of the $500 million Canadian Content deal the federal government has worked out with Netflix.

Some download and streaming services are already subject to provincial or harmonized sales taxes, like iTunes, Apple Music and other services that are based in Quebec or in Canada.

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Anti-Scalping Legislation Introduced

New legislation was introduced to the Ontario Parliament yesterday to prohibit the use of ticket bots, software that enables the mass purchase of concert and event tickets.

Schedule 3 of Bill 166, a.k.a the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, will enact the Ticket Sales Act, which will replace the Ticket Speculation Act and essentially cause automated ticket purchasing software to become illegal for events in the province of Ontario.

Also included in the Ticket Sales Act are provisions capping the resale price of tickets at 50 percent above face value, regulations in regards to transparency (mandatory disclosures of the identity of the seller, number of tickets in the seller’s possession, and original ticket price) and regulations in regards to mandatory residency and/or incorporation in the province of Ontario for ticket sellers.

Click here to read the proposed legislation, in full.

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Music Biography Audiobook Recommendations

Audible is currently offering three free audiobooks to new subscribers (who are also Prime members) so I thought i’d bump a few of my favorites.

One of the first music biographies I purchased on audiobook was Ann & Nancy’s Wilson’s “Kicking and Screaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll“.

Those familiar with 70’s and 80’s rock will, of course, recognise those names as being those of the sisters that front “Heart”, a hard rock band that got first got their foot in the door here in Canada with the release of “Dog & Butterfly” on Mushroom, an independent Canadian label based on the west coast.

Narrated by the sisters themselves, this audiobook recalls their beginnings and meteoric rise through the music industry as one of the few female rock acts of the time. And having been a fan since the early 80’s, I found the book quite enjoyable and interesting – Especially when they discuss the histories behind my favorite tracks, like “Barracuda”, “Crazy On You”, “Alone” and “These Dreams”.

Another female rock autobiography I really enjoyed was Grace Slick’s “Somebody to Love?“, which I had also purchased on hardcover before downloading as an Audiobook.

Like Ann Wilson, Grace Slick is one of those memorable, powerful vocalists that one routinely hears on classic rock stations throughout the world, notably for 60’s anthems “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love”. And having only been alive since 1970 I was not around for Jefferson Airplane’s initial appearance on the world stage. But through Starship, I had started enjoying her talent.

Also narrated by the artist herself, this audiobook not only discusses her highly notable career in music but her activism and the consequences of conspiring to spike then President Nixon’s tea with LSD during an official White House event.

Seriously, if your interest in this audiobook isn’t peeked by my last sentence… 🙂

Speaking of drugs and rock & roll, another female autobiography I’d like to recommend is Belinda Carlisle’s “Lips Unsealed“, which is a quite candid account of this pop-rock singer’s struggles with cocaine.

In the 80’s, Belinda Carlisle had numerous hits both as the lead singer of The Go-Go’s and as a solo artist. But her addiction remained into the early 2000’s, cumulating into a binging incident in 2005.

Be assured, this audiobook isn’t dark and devoted to the grueling processes she had gone through to get clean. It is quite eclectic and interesting so I highly recommend it.

On a lighter note, I also recommend Dawn French’s “Dear Fatty” and Jennifer Saunder’s “Bonkers: My Life in Laughs“.

Yes, these aren’t music biographies but as a fan of British comedies, I had to recommend these autobiographies from the stars of French & Saunders, Ab Fab and Vicar of Dibley.

These are narrated by the comedians themselves and are hilarious, offering two different perspectives on the creation of the hit BBC television series and various other subjects. And if anyone asked me to recommend audiobooks from the genre, these two would top my list, followed by my recently acquired copy of “Classic BBC Radio Comedy: Rowan Atkinson’s The Atkinson People“.

By the way, the Audible‘s subscription fee is $14.95 per month, which kicks in 90 days after the free audiobook offer is accepted. And membership enables subscribers to obtain a 30% discount on audiobooks.

Netflix Update

A few minutes ago I got an email from Netflix Canada saying I will be paying more this month, in line with the previously announced hike in fees.

The new rates are of course as follows :

$8.99 for Basic subscription (inc. SD broadcasts on one device only)
$10.99 for Standard subscription (inc. HD broadcasts on up to two devices)
$13.99 for Premium subscriptions (inc. both HD and 4K broadcasts on up to four devices)

Lately, they’ve been adding more films, music documentaries, and concerts so I’m probably going to continue subscribing for the time being. The second season of Stranger Things is coming up in late October.

Although I am somewhat concerned that Disney will be pulling Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar films from Netflix soon, I already own my favorites from these film companies on Blu-ray and DVD (thanks to the Disney Movie Club) so I don’t think I will miss them.

Rewards Bonus

Indigo Books & Music have made an offer via their Plum Points program to select members.

Points have been added to select member accounts resulting in a $5 discount on purchases placed this weekend. And yes, these bonus points will expire on Sunday the 17th so you should use them immediately.

To find out if you have been selected to receive this “top off” discount, click here or look for an email from Indigo Books & Music in your inbox, dated September 14, 2017.

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Discounted Gift Cards

Select Rexall stores are offering a $5 discount on $50 iTunes gift cards until September 14th, 2017. Please consult your local flyer for details.