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New legislation would allow public drinking in designated areas in Alberta

New legislation would allow municipalities to create entertainment districts, which are designated public areas where adults may responsibly consume alcohol.
A new bill by the Alberta government would allow municipalities to create districts where adults will be able to enjoy a drink outdoors. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

New legislation would allow municipalities to create entertainment districts, which are designated public areas where adults may responsibly consume alcohol.

The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (No. 2), removes barriers to economic growth, creates more opportunities for small businesses, removes unnecessary restrictions and improves the delivery of provincial services, the Government of Alberta said in a statement last week.

The act includes amendments to nine legislative items. This includes:

  • Promoting economic growth through tourism and community revitalization by enabling municipalities to create entertainment districts, designated public areas where adults may responsibly consume alcohol;
  • Supporting licensed cannabis retailers to grow their businesses by entering the online cannabis market;
  • Allowing made-at-home beer, wine and cider to be served at private non-sale special events, so Albertans can enjoy homemade drinks at weddings or family reunions;
  • Modernizing Alberta Human Rights Commission processes to address complaints more quickly, reduce backlogs and make tribunal hearings more accessible;
  • Consolidating Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan rules in one piece of legislation to modernize language and improve clarity for industry and the public;
  • Enabling more efficient regulation of Alberta’s credit union system by providing legislative authority for transferring oversight of Alberta Central to the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation;
  • Ensuring Crown mineral agreements are responsibly managed by enabling a faster and more efficient way to replace designated representatives;
  • Giving the insurance industry the ability to set and change fees for activities related to the regulation of insurance professionals, such as examinations, licensing and continuing education.

“Cutting red tape helps create the strong and stable business environment we need to boost job creation,” said Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction.

“Given the hardship Albertans have faced over the last few years, it’s critical that we make it as easy as possible for businesses to operate, invest, create jobs and drive Alberta’s economic recovery.”

NDP Critic for Red Tape Reduction Chris Nielsen said the top priority of the UCP government should be cutting the red tape that is keeping COVID-19 emergency financial support out of the hands of small businesses.

“We’ve been hearing from hundreds of business owners who are struggling to survive and have been waiting for payments for months,” said Nielsen.

“Given the UCP’s terrible handling of the health care system and the pandemic, and their lack of transparency, the health minister must immediately confirm that amendments in the Health Insurance Premiums Act and the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act will not lead to the introduction of health care premiums.”

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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