Changes to N.S. Liquor Act reduce red tape and save tax dollars

HALIFAX, May 10 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) asked all parties to support Bill 40, An Act to Amend the Liquor Control Act. Amendments result from CRFA urging government for a streamlined licensing process - one that reduces red tape and saves licensees and government money, while maintaining Nova Scotia's strong regulatory oversight.

"These changes will positively impact restaurant operators by reducing the time and effort required to get, and make changes, to their liquor licences," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Atlantic Canada Vice President. "Operators would rather spend time waiting on customers than waiting for paperwork. When you reduce red tape for small business operators while saving taxpayers money, it's a win-win situation."

Changes to the legislation include the following:

  • transfer liquor licensing responsibilities from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, and appoint an Executive Director to carry out these responsibilities;
  • remove requirement that a licence applicant be a Canadian resident or citizen;
  • authorize Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations through the Executive Director to be the first-level decision-maker regarding minor regulatory infractions;
  • provide a process for a licensee or applicant to appeal a decision by the Executive Director to the NSUARB;
  • permit the NSUARB to hold an oral hearing on an appeal or referral from the Executive Director; and
  • replace mandatory formal hearings for the granting of certain types of liquor licences with a public consultation process to be defined by regulation.

If the legislation is passed, it is expected to be proclaimed later this year.

Nova Scotia's restaurant industry is one of the province's largest employers, with more than 30,000 employees, of which 12,000 are under the age of 25. Encompassing close to 2,000 restaurants, caterers and bars, the industry generates total sales of $1.6 billion, representing 4.4% of the province's GDP.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's $60-billion foodservice industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Contact: Luc Erjavec, 902-209-0804 (cell) or lerjavec@crfa.ca; Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca.

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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