(Aug. 12/14) Following pressure from the restaurant industry, Quebec is allowing residents to buy and bring in wine and spirits from other provinces (up to pre-set maximums). However, beverage alcohol from other provinces cannot be purchased online or delivered to a Quebec resident, without going through the SAQ.
Although this ruling applies mostly to consumers, it shows further progress by government to modernize the province’s alcohol rules. Restaurants Canada recently won changes for our licensed members, such as re-corking wine for sale in a restaurant and the harmonization of the specific tax on alcohol between grocers/convenience stores and restaurants. We will be meeting with government officials at the end of August to discuss other alcohol-related issues, including number of permits required, stamping of bottles, employee training and volume rebates. Given the recent progress, we are confident we will be able to bring about more positive changes for our licensed members.