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Nova Scotia earns B grade on pandemic liquor policy report card

Nova Scotia

Restaurants Canada has just released a special COVID-19 edition of its Raise the Bar report praising Nova Scotia for continuing to show leadership with meaningful liquor policy improvements.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — The grades are in: For the fourth time since 2015, Restaurants Canada has given each province a report card on how industry-friendly their liquor policy landscape is for bars and restaurants.

In this year’s Raise the Bar report, Nova Scotia’s grade rose from a B-minus to a B. This improvement was mainly due to the expansion of the province’s existing 10% liquor pricing discount for bars and restaurants, to include bottled and canned beer, ready-to-drink liquor products, and cider. Nova Scotia was also the only province in Atlantic Canada to place a cap on third-party delivery fees to help hard-hit businesses preserve their profits in the wake of COVID-19.

“Nova Scotia has gone above and beyond to help licensed establishments keep their costs down amid the ongoing pandemic,” said Richard Alexander, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada. “As bars and restaurants continue to transition from survival to revival, Restaurants Canada looks forward to working with the provincial government on ways to further support their recovery.”

Here’s how Nova Scotia’s performance record on Restaurants Canada’s Raise the Bar report compares with the rest of the provinces:

British ColumbiaC+CCB
New BrunswickC-DD-B-
Nova ScotiaC+B-B-B
Prince Edward IslandB-B-B-C+
Newfoundland & LabradorFD-D-C+

How can Nova Scotia raise the bar?

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with the Nova Scotia government to improve the liquor policy landscape for bars and restaurants. Here’s how the province can increase its grade by the next Raise the Bar report:

  • Increase licensee pricing discounts;
  • Undertake a comprehensive re-write of liquor legislation to cut red tape and reflect changing market conditions;
  • Introduce a liquor server wage; and
  • Lower taxes to even the playing field with craft breweries.

Visit to download the full report and join in the online conversation with the hashtag #RaiseTheBar2022.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Nova Scotia’s $2.1 billion restaurant industry was the province’s second-largest source of private sector jobs, typically employing nearly 39,000 people. Nova Scotia’s bars and restaurants are still struggling to rebound from at least $700 million in lost revenue and recover thousands of jobs in the wake of the pandemic.