Amendments to Liquor Control Act Repeal Prohibition Era Plebiscite Requirement

Press Release

Amendments to the Liquor Control Act will mean less red tape for new wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and lounges, and the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC).

The amendments introduced in the House of Assembly today, Sept. 11, will remove the requirement to hold plebiscites in communities where the sale of alcohol is restricted.

“This change to the act will allow businesses to better plan and make timely decisions when opening a new establishment,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. “Removing the plebiscite requirement will shorten the time it takes to get the appropriate licence or permit by months, even up to a year.”

The requirement for a plebiscite on alcohol dates back to prohibition. Currently, when the NSLC or business that manufactures or serves alcohol wants to open in a dry community, a plebiscite needs to be held before the business can proceed.

The amendments will bring Nova Scotia in line with the rest of the country, as it is the last jurisdiction in Canada to require liquor plebiscites.

Requirements to obtain licences and permits and to follow municipal zoning bylaws remain unchanged.