The Manitoba government has introduced amendments to the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act and the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act that would enable retail store operators to be licensed to sell liquor as part of a five-year pilot project, Municipal Relations Minister Andrew Smith, minister responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, announced today.
In a media release today, Smith said, "As we continue to modernize Manitoba's liquor retailing system, our government remains focused on increasing convenience for Manitobans while at the same time ensuring the responsible sale and consumption of liquor. Allowing the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba to license retail store operators would ensure proper oversight and regulatory compliance, while enabling retailers to offer new products to customers that would help grow businesses."
The minister noted the proposed amendments would create the necessary conditions for a five-year liquor retail pilot project that would be set out in regulation including:
- when the five-year period begins;
- eligible pilot project participants;
- proximity and number of pilot project stores; and
- display requirements for liquor.
Under the proposed amendments, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries would be able to enter into liquor retail agreements with operators provided the terms of the project are met.
In addition, the definition of a liquor store would be condensed and clarified to mean the premises or that part of the premises specified in a liquor store licence where the retail sale of liquor is authorized. The change would provide flexibility when determining who is eligible for a liquor store licence and expands eligibility to meet the needs of a pilot project agreement holder.
Participating retailers would have to purchase liquor from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, the minister said.
The changes would bring Manitoba in line with other Canadian jurisdictions, where the sale of liquor in retail stores is permitted, the minister added.