(Sept. 8/14) In late August, Restaurants Canada met with assistant chief of staff of the Security Minister, Martin Lapointe, and MNA Lise Thériault, to discuss beverage alcohol issues that affect our members. Issues on the table included:
- number of permits required (i.e. one permit per room in a restaurant);
- stamping of bottles for security control;
- rule of having a meal with alcohol;
- presence of minors on a patio after 8 p.m.;
- volume rebates at the SAQ; and
- mandatory training for alcohol service.
Mr. Lapointe indicated a new bill that covers these issues will be created by the end of the year. He also noted Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis may introduce Bill 395 this fall that allows bring-your-own-wine restaurants to sell Quebec wines. In addition, the government is considering a one-permit system with two categories – one to serve and one to sell.
Restaurants Canada explained our members’ concerns with Bill 395 and a one-permit system, and noted they would reignite the controversy of the early 1990s between bring-your-own-wine restaurants and their counterparts that sell wine. (The current two-permit system allows restaurants to either sell wine or allow customers to bring their own wine, but not do both.) We reiterated the importance of addressing more fundamental issues first, such as number of permits required, bottle stamping and volume rebates.