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Good News on Booze: Alcohol Red Tape Cuts a Success

alcohol stock photo
  • research shows that the decision by provincial governments to allow restaurants to sell alcohol with takeout and delivery orders resulted in few violations
  • Cutting more red tape could help restaurants and other industries

Think tank released a new policy brief today that shows there were very few problems as a result of provincial governments allowing restaurants to sell alcohol with takeout and delivery orders during the pandemic. researched this issue by gathering data on the number of complaints and violations that arose from this policy change, including minors getting alcohol.

Over a roughly one-year period, the data showed about 106 complaints across nine provinces – approximately one per province each month (Quebec did not provide data). Out of six provinces that provided details, there was only one reported complaint of a minor gaining access to alcohol.

“For decades, provincial governments refused to let restaurants sell alcohol with their takeout and delivery orders,” said President Colin Craig. “Yet, when restaurants were allowed to sell alcohol with those orders during the pandemic, the data shows there were very few problems. It’s a good example of why government red tape should be constantly reviewed. Cutting unnecessary regulations is good for what ‘ales’ you.”

“There’s more red tape that could be cut to help people and businesses,” added Craig. “Many governments still make it difficult for restaurants to accept free promotional items from suppliers. For example, in Alberta, businesses are allowed to accept a 12 cubic foot liquor fridge as a gift, but anything larger is forbidden. Help with printing menus is also banned. The rules are a bit tipsy to say the least.”

Nation-wide, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has estimated that red tape costs businesses $11.3 billion each year – with most of these costs being passed on to consumers.

To view Policy Brief: Few Alcohol Violations After Red Tape Cut  – click here

To view each province’s response to our Freedom of Information request, please see this list:
British Columbia – click here
Alberta – click here
Saskatchewan – click here
Manitoba – click here
Ontario – click here
Quebec – N/A
Nova Scotia – click here
Newfoundland and Labrador – click here
New Brunswick – click here
Prince Edward Island – click here
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