It was announced today in Ontario Budget 2019 that there will be changes to the current rules around ‘Happy Hour’ advertising.
The province will also introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow municipalities to set rules about where alcohol can be consumed in public areas, like parks.
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And related to public drinking, sports fans will be able to drink alcohol during tailgating parties at eligible sporting events. Plus, casinos will also be allowed to advertise complimentary alcohol to patrons.
The Budget also states that the hours of alcohol service at licensed establishments – including bars, restaurants and golf courses – will be shifted to a 9 am start, seven days a week. Hours of service will also start at this time for “by the glass” licences, and special occasion permits.
Further, wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries will be able to remove the required serving sizes offered at manufacturing sites. The Budget says that this will offer greater flexibility for the promotion of products.
In what has been long discussed, feedback from over 33,000 Ontarians will inform the province’s plan to expand the sale of alcohol to corner, big-box and more grocery stores.
And finally, Ontario will also introduce legislation that, if passed, would pause a wine tax increase that was scheduled for April 1, 2019, and evaluate ways to lower beer costs at Royal Canadian Legion halls by Fall 2019.