The province is making it easier for businesses in Nova Scotia to apply for a liquor licence. Proposed amendments to the Liquor Control Act introduced today, April 26, will streamline the application process to apply for, or renew, a liquor licence. “Many restaurants and bars must contact a number of departments and comply with a number of acts and regulations,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. “This takes time and costs businesses money. We’ve been asked to make this process quicker and easier, and we have listened.” The amendments will save government an estimated $225,000 per year and also save industry money, while not compromising enforcement. The change will transfer responsibility for granting permanent liquor licences from the Utility and Review Board to the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. The change will make the Alcohol and Gaming Division the first level of appeal for issues about licensing and enforcement. The amendments will also set up a public feedback system where objections to granting a licence can be heard. Public meetings will only be held if community members have objections. Currently, there must be an expensive, time-consuming public hearing for all licence application, even when unopposed. The Liquor Control Act regulates liquor sales and consumption in Nova Scotia and the Liquor Licensing Regulations set rules for how licensed establishments can operate.
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