In June, the Quebec government announced new regulations in regards to alcohol licenses. Those measures, in place since October 1, stipulate that only one permit per usage is now required (instead of one per room) and that all permits will be less expensive. It also allows online application for renewal of permits and sets up a fine system for small infractions, instead of automatic mandatory hearings in front of the Régie.
Though we hope the new system runs smoothly, we’ll make sure it does not become too easy to distribute fines. Enforcement must be fair and non-invasive.
Now that new regulations are in place, the government is working on modernizing the law, for which we lobbied for many years. From our meetings with politicians and officials, it is clear the government wants to remove some of the burden associated with buying and selling alcohol in bars and restaurants and streamline permit acquisition and renewal. However, they want to monitor response to the new regulations before tabling a full bill.
With government due for an election in less than a year, this is a matter we need to keep pressuring on. They are currently open to new ideas and are moving in the right direction.