Epic fail

Report gives Newfoundland and Labrador an “F” for booze policies and regulations

NEWFOUNDLAND and Labrador’s liquor policies for restaurants and bars suck.

That’s the opinion of Restaurants Canada, the non-profit organization that represents 33,000 businesses in the restaurant and food service industry. Last November it released its inaugural report card on liquor policies and regulations across the country. Newfoundland and Labrador finished last in the country, getting an “F” grade.

But why the poor mark? Luc Erjavec, Restaurant Canada’s vicepresident of Atlantic Canada, says it’s a combination of poor policy decisions that the province has yet to fix: you can’t order alcohol in a restaurant without ordering food; liquor license costs are among the highest in Canada; and, while other provinces provide discounts to retailers who buy wine, spirits and beer, “Newfoundland and Labrador doesn’t give us anything,” Erjavec complains.

Erjavec says the report card provides governments with a benchmark for how each province stands when it comes to its liquor policies and regulations. The results show most of Atlantic Canada could stand to improve its grades.

Newfoundland & Labrador F
Restaurants Canada says … “Industry has one place to buy its alcohol, from a liquor monopoly that offers little choice and among the highest prices in Canada.”

New Brunswick C-
Restaurants Canada says … “New Brunswick has laws that warrant change. If you’re in a restaurant and want to consume an alcoholic drink, you must sit down to consume it. If you are on a patio, no bottle or cans for you.”

Nova Scotia C+
Restaurants Canada says …”Government should eliminate the dated law that requires a working kitchen in every establishment that serves alcohol.”

Prince Edward Island B-
Restaurants Canada says … “There are liquor laws that are archaic, or at the very least, baffling. One example? It’s illegal to swear in a licensed restaurant.”

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