Changes to Manitoba liquor laws not expected to pass
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/10/2022 (221 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Time is running out on the Manitoba government’s latest attempt to change liquor laws.
Two bills — one to expand private sales of liquor and another to modernize liquor licensing — had not passed second reading as of Monday.
Bill 42 would would allow beer vendors and specialty wine stores to apply for a licence to sell the full range of alcoholic products sold by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries.
Private liquor retailers in rural Manitoba could also apply to sell case lots of beer in their stores, under the proposed legislation. It would also provide the framework for grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail locations to sell alcohol products as part of a five-year pilot program.
The legislation was touted by the Progressive Conservative government as a way to help the hotel sector after it was hit hard by the pandemic, and as a response to increased demand for customer convenience.
Meanwhile, Bill 38 would establish new service licences through regulation and allow any business with a liquor service licence to sell booze for takeout or delivery with food.
Lawmakers, who have a packed legislative schedule, are to sit just three more days before rising on Nov. 3. Outstanding bills that do not receive third reading and concurrence by Thursday will die on the order paper.
Government house leader Kelvin Goertzen said it’s “entirely up to the Opposition” whether the bills will receive the necessary time to become law.
“If they support the bills, it doesn’t take that long to have them actually passed,” Goertzen said.
The bills will likely be introduced again during the next legislative session, which will open on Nov. 15, Goertzen said.
Two government bills that target human trafficking and intimate partner violence are expected to become law before the current session concludes.
A private member’s bill by New Democrat Bernadette Smith to establish a specialty licence plate for MMIWG is anticipated to move forward with government support, though legislation is not required, Goertzen said.
Bill 43 would establish a framework to disclose sensitive information held by police or other public bodies regarding an intimate partner to an applicant in cases where their safety, or the safety of their children, is at risk.
The legislation, otherwise known as Clare’s Law, is used in other jurisdictions to ensure women and other vulnerable people are aware of an intimate partner’s history of violence or abuse.
Bill 40, meanwhile, would require people who work in hotels, provide temporary accommodations, or operate a vehicle for hire to immediately report suspected human trafficking to police.
New Democrat house leader Nahanni Fontaine said her party is on side with Bill 43 and Bill 40. She expects Smith’s bill to be called for third reading and concurrence on Thursday.
“We’re going to be allowing those to pass,” Fontaine said.
However, the government’s proposed liquor reform legislation is unlikely to make the cut.
“It is an incredibly tight time-frame. We’re doing our best to get through those bills that (we) really need to get through,” Fontaine said.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
Updated on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 9:15 AM CDT: Adds related posts.
Updated on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 1:17 PM CDT: Tweaks headline