Under a new Town of La Ronge bylaw which will be drafted by the end of the year, off-sale liquor stores will stop selling alcohol by midnight and bars will close at 1 a.m.
That’s according to Coun. Matthew Klassen, who said the rules will officially go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. He noted council originally planned to hold a plebiscite so residents could vote on the off-sale closing time, but added the plan was scrapped due to financial considerations.
“The biggest reason we avoided the plebiscite is because it's an undue burden on the taxpayer’s money,” Klassen said.
Two other questions residents would have been asked to decide were subsequently dropped by council. Those included adding a minimum purchase of $30 to buy non-beverage alcohol like mouthwash, and restricting liquor sales on month-end and Canada Child Benefit payment days. The decision not to pursue those two options, Klassen said, came after discussions following a public meeting on the issue held in May.
Other changes approved by council include limiting sales of alcohol on Sundays and statutory holidays to between 1 and 8 p.m. Businesses will also be required to advertise the availability of safe transportation and taxi companies will have to stay open as late as bars. Although bars will be required to stop selling alcohol at 1 a.m., Klassen stated customers will be given until 1:30 a.m. to finish any beverages.
"As we move forward, we’ve committed to continually monitor and review the progress of this plan,” he said. “If it has reduced alcohol-related harms or if anything increases, we’ll … adjust the plan as need be in the future.”
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