Provincial regulations prevent liquor agency stores from serving on holidays (CBC)


After a flood of customer inquiries over the Labour Day weekend, some of P.E.I.'s new private liquor stores are asking the province to let them stay open on statutory holidays.

For the last month residents in the Belfast area have been coming to Cooper's Red and White country store to pick up beer, spirits or wine.

"Things are going really well, really well, better than we anticipated," said owner David Cooper.

Cooper said many of his customers do all of their shopping in one place.

So much so, that this past Labour Day, people called to make sure the store would be open to sell alcohol.

"The phone kept ringing, the wife answered a lot of calls. I didn't realize I was working back in the meat shop, but there was an awful lot of people," Cooper said.

They initially told people they would be open until they got an email from the province Friday night saying provincial regulations prevents them from serving on holidays.

"I'd like to see if open on holidays because it's one of your busier times," Cooper said.

Three other agency stores in Cavendish, Kinkora and Murray River are lobbying the government to stay open on statutory holidays.

The Liquor Control Commission said it will look into making changes, but ultimately the province would have to pass legislation.

Any changes wouldn't go into effect until 2013.

The commission said agency stores in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick stay open for several holidays, including Easter and Labour Day.