Sask. Party members vote to lower drinking age

Saskatchewan Party members voted in favour of lowering the drinking age from 19 to 18 on Saturday.
18-year-olds may be able to buy alcohol in future if members of the Saskatchewan Party have their way. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

The Saskatchewan Party is taking a closer look at the province's liquor laws.

At the party's annual convention in Saskatoon on Saturday, members voted in favour of lowering the drinking age from 19 to 18.

Arguments ranged from issues of fairness to increasing numbers of young voters. The legal drinking age is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said it is something he will consider.

"We take resolutions at the convention very seriously. Before we consider any sort of change, we're going to have to consult," said Wall.

Among those calling for the change is Nathan Sgrazzutti, president of the University of Regina Students' Union.

"At 18, we're able to vote, but our partaking in the celebrations afterwards is held back because we cannot have a drink with everyone when they go to the bar and say, 'Hey, we did a great job," Sgrazzutti said.

But not everyone is a fan of the idea. Saskatchewan Party MLA Donna Harpauer says teen drinking is a problem, and this might make things worse.

"There are 18-year-olds in our school system, in Grade 12, and this brings alcohol into the schools a little more easily," Harpauer said.

This is not guaranteed to pass. The issue would have to be voted on in the legislature to become law.


  • This story has been edited. A previous version incorrectly attributed a quote to Premier Brad Wall. That quote has been removed.
    Sep 12, 2013 10:55 PM CT