Changes coming to Saskatchewan liquor laws

Changes coming to Saskatchewan liquor laws

The Government of Saskatchewan is easing liquor laws in the province.

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building overlooks Wascana Lake.

According to the Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming, Lori Carr, the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act, 1997 is meant to modernize the laws in the province.

“Reducing red tape in Saskatchewan’s liquor laws increases flexibility for the public and creates new opportunities for communities and business,” Carr said.

The changes include:

  •  Allowing municipalities and park authorities the discretion to designate outdoor public spaces for consumption of alcohol.
  •  Easing provisions for permittees.
  •  Allowing homemade beer, wine and cider to be served at family events that are permitted with a special occasion permit, including products made at a U-Brew/U-Vin facility.
  •  Removing the requirement for applicants to publish their intentions to obtain a liquor permit in local newspapers.

When asked about the effects easing the liquor laws will have on communities, Carr said it will be up to communities to determine whether or not to allow consumption in more areas.

“Well I think the municipalities that decide to allow this permitting to happen will know whether the people in their communities can handle that responsibility,” she told reporters on Monday.

“They have the opportunity to draft them the way they want. If they feel it’s appropriate to allow alcohol to be drank in a park then they can make that permit. If they don’t want that to happen then they don’t have to.”

For liquor consumption rules in provincial parks, the government will not institute any provincial wide guidelines, but leave it up to the parks to decide based on safety factors.

When asked if the new rulings around homemade beer, wine and ciders would open the door to legal moonshine production, Carr said: “It’s illegal to do that right now and there’s no consideration of that at this time.”

This marks the second time in 2022 the Government of Saskatchewan has tried to amend the laws surrounding alcohol consumption in the province.

“We are continuing to engage with stakeholders and municipalities, my colleagues … have been engaging with stakeholders all summer long,” Nathaniel Teed, NDP MLA for Saskatoon Meewasin, told reporters on Monday.

“We’re confident that with those conversations, we can look at this legislation.”

Carr believes the amendments will pass now that consultation has been done and the opposition is on board.

“We’re fairly certain it will go through this time around,” she said.

The bill is expected to pass in the spring of 2023 and come into effect by the summer.

No Comments

Post a Comment