On June 26, CRFA met with Minister of Transportation Ric McIver and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis. Top photo, left to right: CRFA’s Mark von Schellwitz, Mr. McIver, and CRFA Directors Mike Yasinski and Patrick Saurette. Bottom photo, left to right: CRFA Director Patrick Saurette, CRFA’s Mark von Schellwitz, Mr. Denis and CRFA Director Mike Yasinski.
(Jul. 9/12) In a recent meeting with CRFA, Minister of Transportation Ric McIver and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis committed to implementing Alberta’s new drinking and driving penalties with minimal impact on the hospitality industry, and promised to continue working with CRFA.
We reiterated our members’ concerns with the .05 to .08 BAC penalties, but thanked the Ministers for consulting with CRFA and including our recommendations for more positive messaging in their education and communications campaign.
CRFA wants to ensure hospitality industry guests are not afraid to visit licensed establishments once the new .05 to .08 BAC penalties are implemented. To this end, we requested that government:
We informed the Ministers that increased enforcement activity soon after implementation of similar .05 to .08 BAC legislation in B.C. created a negative backlash and contributed significantly to the downturn in the province’s restaurant sales. (Click here for survey results on the impact in B.C.)
Fighting violence in licensed establishments
In other liquor-related issues, CRFA also discussed member concerns with police not being allowed to work extra duty at nightclubs and other licensed establishments. Minister Denis explained this decision was due to fairness and insufficient police resources.
The need for more late-night taxis was also examined, with the Minister asking CRFA to join him in publicly urging municipalities to licence more taxis.