New Manitoba liquor licence bill aims to expand businesses’ ability to sell booze

The province of Manitoba is putting forward a new bill to modernize liquor licensing regulations.

The aim is for establishments like wine bars, seasonal and pop-up businesses to have an easier time obtaining licenses.

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“The existing framework for service licences, such as those for restaurants and bars, is complex and has many requirements unrelated to the safe and responsible service of liquor,” said Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen.

“These amendments will allow us to reduce the number of licence categories and remove barriers to entry. Current licensed business will all remain licensed in a new framework, but more flexibility will expand eligibility for new service models, such as wine bars, seasonal or pop-up businesses, and local bars that don’t have to make costly investments in commercial kitchens or entertainment.”

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According to the release, Manitoba’s regulations for liquor haven’t changed since the lifting of prohibition.

“Levelling the playing field creates a tremendous opportunity for the foodservice industry to recover and grow,” said Manitoba director of Restaurants Canada Scot McTaggart.

“Restaurants Canada applauds the government for modernizing the licensing framework focusing on the safe service of alcohol and creating a market where the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive.”

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