Welcome to the 21st century, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Many of your draconian regulations, which often served as an impediment to business, have been eliminated. The provincial government is implementing new laws that are progressive and modern.
In some cases, Saskatchewan's liquor laws appeared to be leftovers from the days that followed prohibition.
Yes, Saskatchewan's government has more pressing matters to worry about, such as health care, housing and moving forward with the effort to twin Highway 39. But the government still had to do something about laws that should have been repealed decades ago.
Now spas and salons can sell and serve liquor to its customers. Movie theatres can do the same, in age-restricted areas.
The latter is great news. If I have to use the washroom halfway through a two-and-a-half-hour movie – right when the movie is getting to its best parts – I want it to be because of the beer I had at the start of the movie. I don't want it to be due to a flat fountain soft drink.
Did you know that food catering business couldn't provide alcohol at their events?
Did you know that the SLGA regulations ruled that a lounge could only be 50 per cent of the size of the adjoining restaurant?
Did you know that SLGA dictated the size of an outdoor patio for customers?
Greatest of all horrors: restaurants couldn't re-cork high alcohol specialty beer sold in larger containers. I think SLGA employees have more pressing issues to worry about.
Restaurant owners can now allow customers to bring their own wine. (Note: it's not as easy as it sounds). And one of my favourite promotions is now legal in Saskatchewan: restaurants can offer a burger and a beer combo deal.
Strip-tease performances and wet clothing contests will be permitted in adult-only liquor-permitted premises, signaling the demise of one of Saskatchewan's goofiest laws.
The new legislation stops short of giving the green light to strip clubs, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The new legislation removes impediments for business. Yes, restrictions and regulations are needed. That's why there are laws against strip clubs, public intoxication, serving alcohol to people under the age of 19, and smoking inside of restaurants. (Remember when that was a controversial issue?)
Bar, tavern, restaurant, hotel, spa and movie theatre operators need to be allowed to conduct their business in the safest, but least oppressive fashion possible. Removing and modifying more than 70 SLGA laws will help the hospitality sector, and it might encourage new restaurants, and other businesses, to open. This is another example of the shift to a progressive mentality seen in Saskatchewan in the last seven years – a shift that has improved life in this province.