Introduction

The Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) will come into force on November 29, 2021. It will provide the Registrar with the authority to establish standards and requirements in the following areas of liquor regulation:

  • The responsible sale, wholesale, supply, delivery, and consumption of liquor
  • Training related to the responsible sale, wholesale, supply, delivery and consumption of liquor
  • Addressing unlawful activities in licensed or permitted premises
  • Licensed and permitted premises, accommodation, equipment and facilities
  • Advertising and promotional activities
  • Keeping of records, including financial records
  • Other matters related to the conduct of licensees and permit holders or the operation of licensed or permitted premises

These standards are set out in this document, the Registrar’s Interim Standards and Requirements for Liquor (Interim Standards). Licensees and permit holders are responsible for meeting all Interim Standards that apply to their licence type or permit type, as well as all applicable laws and regulations, including the LLCA and regulations thereunder.

The Interim Standards contain:

  • Certain provisions that were contained in regulations under the previous Liquor Licence Act and Liquor Control Act;
  • Requirements that were previously included in Registrar policy; and
  • New standards that are applicable to newly permissible activities and new areas of AGCO regulation.

The objective of a standards-based regulatory model is to shift the focus from requiring licensees to comply with a specific set of rules or processes, toward the broader regulatory outcome or objectives they are expected to achieve. Since there may be many ways for a licensee to meet a Standard, licensees have the flexibility to determine what works best for their business, thereby strengthening regulatory outcomes without needlessly burdening regulated entities.

Because these Interim Standards contain provisions from the previous regulatory regime, this document will be reviewed and revised regularly. This review process will include the engagement of stakeholders in the development of permanent standards, to ensure that regulatory risks associated with the sale, service and delivery of liquor are effectively mitigated, while providing flexibility for liquor sector businesses.

Definitions

Words and phrases in these Interim Standards and Requirements shall have the same meaning as in the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 and the Regulations made thereunder unless indicated otherwise.

“Act” means the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019.

“advertising” means any public notice, representation, or activity, including promotional and marketing activities, that is intended to attract attention to liquor, the brand name of liquor, the name of the premises where liquor is available, or the name under which the Licensee carries on business, and “advertise” and “advertisement” have corresponding meanings.

AGCO” means the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, as continued under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.

“Board” means the means the board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario continued under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.

“casino” means premises maintained for the purpose of playing or operating a lottery scheme as defined in subsection 207 (4) of the Criminal Code (Canada) that is conducted and managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, except if the Corporation shares any portion of the profits from the lottery scheme with charitable organizations.

“liquor” means beer, wine and/or spirits or any combination thereof.

“public service advertising” means any advertising carrying a strong message against irresponsible use of liquor where the message does not contain any direct or indirect endorsement of liquor, the brand name of a type of liquor or of the consumption of liquor.

“Registrar” means the Registrar under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.

“sample” means a small serving of liquor provided to a person for the purpose of promoting a product, conducting market research on that product, or providing education about the product.

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