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Prince Edward Island earns C-plus grade on pandemic liquor policy report card

Prince Edward Island

Restaurants Canada has just released a special COVID-19 edition of its Raise the Bar report calling on Prince Edward Island to keep up with other jurisdictions on liquor policy progress.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — 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, Prince Edward Island’s grade dropped from a B-minus to a C-plus, due to minimal progress on key recommendations from Restaurants Canada since 2019. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Prince Edward Island was one of the only provinces where bars and restaurants weren’t forced to purchase wine, spirits, and beer at the same retail prices as consumers. The Island has since fallen behind British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, where licensed establishments can now purchase a wider variety of liquor products at discounted prices.

“With bars and restaurants still facing a long road to recovery from the ongoing pandemic, further reductions in liquor costs and undue red tape are critically needed from the P.E.I. government,” said Richard Alexander, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada. “Making discounted pricing available to licensed establishments for all quantities of bottled beer, as well as canned beer and cider, would go a long way to improve conditions for hard-hit businesses.”

Here’s how Prince Edward Island’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 Prince Edward Island raise the bar?

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with the P.E.I. 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 and include beer and cider sold in all quantities and packaging types;
  • Implement new liquor legislation to cut red tape and reflect changing market conditions;
  • Introduce a liquor server wage; and
  • Enter a co-purchasing agreement with other provinces to achieve larger economies of scale.

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, New Brunswick’s $1.6 billion restaurant industry was the province’s fourth-largest source of private sector jobs, typically employing more than 20,000 people. New Brunswick’s bars and restaurants are now struggling to recover at least $440 million in lost revenue in the wake of the pandemic.