Island restaurants offer convenience for patrons wishing to purchase booze
Changes to legislation allowing Island restaurants to sell P.E.I.-produced beer, wine and spirits for diners to take home after their meal make sense. It’s good for tourists from the sake of convenience and also provides additional support for Island wineries, breweries and distilleries. If a tourist or Islander tries a local beverage and likes it, well, it makes sense to have additional product at the ready to allow guests to take more back home with them.
There should not be any issue with people needing to order a full meal at the restaurant to be eligible to purchase additional wine, spirits or beer. Why else would people go to a diner? If they don’t want to eat, then visit a nearby liquor store.
The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission says it’s a simple way to support a very young industry on P.E.I. The commission has been pro-active in looking for ways to support local manufacturers and also had tourists in mind when it made the changes. If a tourist sees that he or she can buy and take home local beer, wine or spirits after a meal, they might be more apt to sample that product with their meal. It’s a good marketing ploy, really. Restaurants will need a special licence from the commission which also provides additional revenue for the province.
The LCC isn’t breaking new ground here as the changes follow similar rules in effect in five other provinces or territories where regulations are even more relaxed. In Alberta there is no restriction on what can be purchased in terms of the type of product or amount. P.E.I. will limit sales to a maximum of two 750-ml bottles of wine, two 750-ml bottles of spirits and the equivalent of up to 12 355-ml cans/bottles of beer.
Other provinces also don’t require patrons to eat before they purchase take-out alcohol, but it still begs the question why anyone would go into a restaurant just to purchase a 12-pack to go.
Don’t expect to see a flood of booze flowing out the front door of restaurants, but anytime a tourist gets a little extra attention and convenience, it’s a smart thing. Let’s hope they spread the good word.
Cornwall ignores public transit
It was more what wasn’t in the budget that was interesting when Cornwall town council met last week. We heard that residents will be paying more for sewer and water services, commercial and non-commercial tax rates will remain the same and there will be a significant increase of 18 per cent for policing while the capital budget includes more sidewalks and sewer upgrades and will boost water pressure.
What wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the budget document was the transit system. Cornwall gave notice last fall it was pulling out of the T-3 transit involving Charlottetown and Stratford because the town felt it couldn’t justify the cost considering the low numbers of town riders utilizing the buses.
A majority on Cornwall council, especially Mayor Barney Fullerton, has been cool to the bus system since its inception or their election. Stratford has gone out of its way to endorse the transit system and tries hard to make it succeed. Charlottetown feels that providing a public transit system is a duty for the municipality even if it loses money. But not in Cornwall. The abolition of public transit is considered a done deal and apparently didn’t warrant any mention or budget discussion.
Cornwall council wants the town to grow yet continues to be very parochial when it comes to public transit. It is baffling.