Quebec budget: further modernization of the Liquor License Act

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Possibility of selling alcohol without food and implementation of a cheaper liquor license for seasonal establishments, there is positive for the restaurant industry in the budget of the government of Quebec unveiled this after- midday. It is therefore with satisfaction that the Association Restauration Québec (ARQ), the oldest and most important association of restaurant managers in Quebec, welcomes the government’s intention to continue simplifying the regulations on sales and service of alcoholic beverages started by Law No. 170 adopted unanimously by the National Assembly in June 2018

The ARQ and its members heard
The Legault government therefore responds to the urgent call by restaurant managers to implement, in the near future, several impatiently awaited measures. Restaurants will soon be able to sell alcohol without necessarily having to sell food at the same time, and seasonal establishments will pay less for their liquor license because they are open less than six months a year. . These measures require legislative or regulatory changes which will soon be presented in the context of a bill. The implementation of other planned lightening measures, including allowing the consumption of alcohol in the common areas of hotels, remains to be confirmed at this time

Right stamp
In addition, given the planned abolition of the marking of alcohol bottles with a stamp as of June 12, the government intends to adapt the methods of control, inspection and investigation accordingly. To this end, additional funds will be granted to the ACCES alcohol committee.

Other interesting budget measures for catering include:

  • The creation of a $ 10 million program to support initiatives by industries and businesses, including restaurants, to implement projects to reduce, recover and recycle food residues;
  • Support of $ 316 million over five years to implement the 2020-2025 Tourism Industry Growth Strategy, pursue regional tourism partnership agreements and enhance the establishments of the SEPAQ;
  • A budget of $ 10 million to attract qualified foreign workers and the creation of a refundable tax credit granted to SMEs on 100% of employee contributions in respect of wages paid to people with severe constraints on the ’employment.

Small business deduction: disappointment
The ARQ, however, expresses its disappointment that the government has not acquiesced in the request of numerous associations representing small and medium-sized businesses to abolish the minimum number of paid hours to access the small business deduction (DPE).