PEI

More action urged on 'fairly outdated' P.E.I. Liquor Control Act

There have been a series of delays, but P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission officials say they remain aware that changes are needed to modernize the Liquor Control Act.

Some changes made during pandemic are being welcomed

There have been changes to the act, in particular to accommodate local producers of alcoholic beverages. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

There have been a series of delays, but P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission officials say they remain aware that changes are needed to modernize the Liquor Control Act.

Jamie MacLeod, the acting chief executive officer of the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, was questioned about the act when he appeared before a legislative committee Tuesday.

In response to calls from MLAs on the committee to speed the process, MacLeod said in recent years a change in government and change in leadership at the commission slowed down the process, but updates are still understood to be necessary.

"I think it is widely known that the Liquor Control Act for the province is fairly outdated; much of it was written in 1947," he said. 

"We're currently looking at it, have been looking at it," he added. "COVID has obviously impacted moving it along."  

Jamie MacLeod, the acting chief executive officer of the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, says changes have been slowed by changes in government and in the leadership of the commission. (Government of P.E.I.)

In recent years, officials have been criticized for going after barber shops and kombucha makers as they enforced what they saw to be the letter of the act.

The most recent move for a thorough review of the Liquor Control Act goes back to 2017.

The pandemic has prompted more support for changes, some of which have already been incorporated.

When restaurant dining rooms were closed, the province moved to allow alcoholic beverage delivery with meals, a change which has since been made permanent.

Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown has come out in favour of allowing people to have a drink outside when they are having a picnic, and Darlene Compton, the minister responsible for the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission, has said that is certainly a possibility.

An internal report generated in 2019 contains 27 recommendations for change.

Consultations with the Department of Health and a survey of all the province's licensees, companies that produce or serve alcohol, were part of producing the report.

More from CBC P.E.I.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the mayor of Charlottetown as Richard Brown. The mayor is, in fact, Philip Brown.
    Jan 13, 2021 11:00 AM AT

With files from John Robertson

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