May 16, 2013

WINNIPEG – The provincial government’s move to modernize liquor laws is welcome news to Manitoba’s $2-billion restaurant sector. On behalf of the province’s licensed restaurants, bars and caterers, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has been calling for a wholesale rewrite of the antiquated regulatory regime for many years.

“These changes are a long time coming and bring welcome relief to Manitoba’s licensed restaurant operators,” says Dwayne Marling, CRFA’s Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice-President. “The government clearly listened to feedback and suggestions from Manitoba restaurateurs during the consultation process, and we thank them for that.”

Licensed restaurateurs will benefit from:

  • the simplification of liquor licence classes from 12 to three (manufacturing, sales and service);
  • the ability of restaurants to serve a drink without a meal;
  • significant reductions in red tape and reporting requirements (e.g. removing the food-liquor ratio reporting requirements); and
  • the move to a risk-based inspection system.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the government during the two-year-long formal stakeholder consultation process also announced by Minister Dave Chomiak yesterday,” says Marling. “Improving Manitoba’s liquor laws is a long-standing commitment of CRFA. We share the provincial government’s belief that modern, simplified, streamlined and realistic liquor laws will benefit all Manitobans.”

As Manitoba’s fourth-largest private-sector employer, the restaurant industry directly employs more than 42,400 people at over 2,200 establishments. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians were first employed by the restaurant industry, making it the number one source of first jobs.

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 restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.


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