July 23, 2017

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Church minister 'not real happy' about liquor law changes

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/4/2014 (1193 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Not everyone has shooter glasses lined up and ready to celebrate some of the changes to provincial liquor laws.

For the first time in more than half a century, bars and restaurants are free to be open on Good Friday, when they can serve alcohol like any other day.

Central United Church minister John Lea said Good Friday is a sacred time in the Christian faith.

"I’m not real happy about it," Lea said about the changes to the liquor laws.

As modern governments have moved toward secularism, it has created a power shift that used to see religious bodies have more say in legislative decisions.

"It’s been a long time since the churches had the type of sway that they had over the last number of centuries," Lea said.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corp. communications manager Kristianne Dechant said the change doesn’t force any establishments to be open, but puts the onus on the owner to decide which holidays he or she might subscribe to.

"We heard from public consultations that led to the new legislation that Manitobans from a diversity of cultures wanted more choice in (when establishments are) open and closed on holidays that make sense to them," Dechant said.

"It may make sense for a particular restaurant or bar, depending on their clientele, to be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, but they may want to close on Jewish holidays, Muslim holidays, or any other ethnic or cultural event."

The change is designed to modernize the laws.

"This change reflects Manitoba’s cultural diversity," Dechant said. "The old liquor laws came into place in 1956 and some of these things reflected cultural values and norms from 1956, but hadn’t kept up with the changing cultural diversity or standards and morals of Manitoba in 2014."

» Brandon Sun

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