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Liquor Legislation Review

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce shared our Liquor Legislation Review submission with the review team on July 15, 2021.

View our full submission as a PDF here.

Download the GNWT's Discussion Guide as a PDF here.

 

Dear Liquor Legislation Review Committee,

We believe that the NWT Liquor Legislation Review should be guided by four principles: socially responsible consumption, efficient procurement of alcohol, free market distribution and flexible legislation that reflects Canadian trends and best practices.

This is an opportunity for the Government of the Northwest Territories to support entrepreneurship and economic development - access to liquor is important to socially responsible consumers, and businesses are willing to be partners in supporting responsible consumption.

To allow businesses to meet consumer demand, the legislation should be updated to provide flexibility through the following measures:

  • Eased rules for liquor delivery
  • Permit additional liquor store models such as specialized retail stores
  • Permit liquor stores to provide additional services such as online ordering for pick-up
  • Flexible store and sales hours
  • Expanding eligibility for Class C and D licenses to permit tourism operators to sell liquor and allow customers to bring liquor with them on tourism excursions
  • Permit businesses to offer free or discounted liquor with eligible purchases, and
  • Permit ferment-on-premises businesses (u-brew).

In an effort to support a more competitive environment for the sale of liquor, Restaurants Canada has recommended that all Canadian jurisdictions make wholesale pricing available to all liquor licensees and allow liquor licensees to sell liquor for off-site consumption. Across Canada prohibitive liquor legislation is being updated to support businesses with COVID-19 survival and recovery. For example, earlier this week British Columbia announced that wholesale liquor pricing will be available to restaurants, and hospitality businesses will be permitted to sell pre-packaged liquor to go, something that has been permitted in Alberta and Ontario since December 2020.

The NWT Liquor Legislation Review is an opportunity to support economic diversification, fair competition, and to create a more reasonable environment for the sale of liquor in the NWT.

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