Restaurant industry rep welcomes changes to N.B. liquor laws
The sale of alcoholic beverages for takeout will be made permanent
An industry representative for restaurants in Canada says he's pleased to see the Government of New Brunswick loosen rules around how they and other similar businesses are allowed to sell alcohol.
On Tuesday, the province announced it was amending the Liquor Control Act to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks with takeout orders. Changes to the act will also require staff who serve alcohol at licensed establishments to take an online training course on responsible practices, according to a news release.
Luc Erjavec, vice-president for Restaurants Canada's Atlantic division, said he's pleased with the moves by the province.
A year ago, the province gave restaurants permission to sell alcoholic drinks with takeout orders as a temporary measure to offer them relief during the COVID-19 lockdown first implemented in 2020.
With the change to the act, restaurants will now be able to continue doing so regardless of whether the province is under a state of emergency order, Erjavec said.
"It's something we've been working on for a while," he said.
In its news release, the province said the new training course will be delivered by the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick. The course is already available for licensed establishments that want their staff to take it, prior to it becoming mandatory on Sept. 1.
The online course has been approved by Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada and will be offered free of charge from now until April 2022, thanks to $150,000 from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, the release said.
Erjavec said that change was something his organization also worked with government on, and said the spending by the department will prevent it from being an expense for restaurants while they already deal with impacts of the pandemic.
He said many restaurants already require their staff to receive such training, but making it mandatory could go further toward providing a better customer experience, reducing liability and possibly reducing insurance costs.
"So it's a great program," he said.