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Jeff:                 

Good morning and thank you for tuning in today’s final webinar of the AGCO’s municipal webinar series. I’m Jeff Longhurst, the director of licensing and registration at the alcohol and gaming commission of Ontario and I’m pleased to be the moderator of today’s session.

I’d like to begin by introducing my colleagues of the AGCO who you will be hearing from today. We’ll start first with our senior manager of liquor eligibility, Rebecca Castillo, we have [Tanya Thake] one of our senior compliance officials and our senior manager of strategic policy Alison Cazalet.

Today’s webinar is the fourth in a four part series, the first webinar highlighted the different roles that the AGCO municipality’s play in the regulation of alcohol and gaming in Ontario. Our second webinar focused on charitable gaming in Ontario and the third webinar focused on the newly emerging cannabis industry. If you were unable to participate in any of these prior webinars, or would like a refresher on the information provided, all three of these webinars are available on our website, which is www.agco.ca.

Today you’ll be learning about liquor regulation in Ontario. We encourage you to submit your questions throughout the session this morning and we’ll do our best to answer them by the end of the session. If we do run out of time then we will respond to those questions by email. Note that you’ll be able to submit questions using the portal, which you are now listening to and viewing this session. Today’s webinar is being recorded and following today’s broadcast a closed caption recording of this session will be made available on the AGCO’s website again at www.agco.ca.

If you’re experiencing any technical difficulties throughout this broadcast please email webcast@bespokeav.ca. In addition we have sent out conference call information for those of you who would just like to dial  in by phone. Please note that this conference line will only allow you to listen to the audio portion of the session. We will not be taking questions by phone but those who are participating on the conference call, we invite you to send us an email with your questions by emailing us at municipal@agco.ca.

Now as you can see we have a full agenda for you today. We’ll provide you with a quick overview of the regulatory framework after which you’ll hear about tools used for compliance, municipally significant special occasion permits and how the liquor industry is modernizing. We’ll end the session by answering the questions that we’ve received through the webcast.

So with that I’ll turn it over to Rebecca Castillo, AGCO senior manager of liquor eligibility, to provide a brief overview of the regulatory framework.

Rebecca:          

Great, thank you Jeff. I am very happy to be here this morning. So to get started, the AGCO is responsible for administrating the liquor licence act and specific sections of the liquor control act. We licence and regulate establishments that sell and serve liquor to the public, so this includes bars, restaurants, lounges and night clubs. I’d also like to add we also regulate liquor manufacturers and onsite retail store authorizations.

So what’s important for the folks here in terms of the municipal requirements for a new liquor sales licence is there are some information that we require from municipalities. So when anyone is applying for a new liquor sales licence or they want to add on a patio or they want to increase capacity to their liquor licence, we require some forms for you and some feedback. The first thing that we required is the municipal information form and we require municipal agency letters also known as compliance letters from the fire, building and health departments.

Here on our screen you’ll see a sample of what our municipal information form looks like. This is a template that we do have on our website but we also welcome any other information that you provide on your letter head. This form will indicate whether or not the municipality is wet, damp or dry. Even though we recognize that most of Ontario is considered wet,  we also use this form really as a way to notify municipalities or have the applicant notify that someone is applying for a liquor licence in your municipality.

Agency letter approvals, this is the sample of the agency letter approvals; I think I’ve already spoken about that. Again with this one we use this as a template but then you can also use your own letter head for giving us compliance letters for fire building and health. And here again is the municipal information form as well for the municipalities to use.

Okay, so now we’re going to move on to some other information that will be helpful for municipal staff. One thing to remember, and just to advise folks is that sometimes manufacturers can apply for a liquor sales licence, which is also known as a tied house licence, and again a tied house licence is really just a manufacturer that is applying for a liquor sales licence. So you would use the same form, the municipal information for the tied house. In addition there is also going to be the same form, the wet, dry status, that you will use to support a manufacturer store that may also be applying for a retail store in your municipality.

Another product that a manufacturer can apply for is something called the by the glass licence. And the by the glass licence allows manufacturers to sell and serve their own products for consumption. Again, this is only for by the glass and it allows guests to carry or consume wine or beer or spirits from around the manufacturing site and if in other areas where they’re manufacturing. So with this one we do not require the compliance letters but what we do require is that the municipality has passed a resolution that’s in support of the by the glass licence. So there are some municipalities that have given blanket resolutions for any application and there may be some municipalities where they’re very specific to someone who is actually applying.

And again another helpful tip, when an applicant is applying for an outdoor area or a patio, we just want to remind the local fire and health departments that they must specify either on their form or on their letter head that they’ve inspected the outdoor area and if possible an occupant load is given for that outdoor area. In addition, municipalities can also prohibit the sale and service of wine at farmer’s markets. Farmers markets – the sale and service of wine and cider at farmer’s markets has been in effect for a few years. But again additional information can be found on our website on what role a municipality can play in farmers markets.

Okay, we’re switching gears here and we’re going to talk about what is public notice. And public notice is a process in which when someone applies for a new liquor sales licence, the public has an opportunity to respond to an application. It is an opportunity for the public and residents and possibly the municipality to voice any concerns or objections with an application. We have two ways you can find out where the public notice is, they can be found on our website and the applicant must also post a placard in front of their establishment where they’re applying. Just a reminder a liquor licence sales licence may be issued unless it’s not in the public interest.

So when is public’s notice required? The AGCO posts public notification and placard in four instances. Number one where an application for a liquor sales licence has been - application has been filed and there has been no liquor licence issued at that address for at least six months or when someone is adding a new outdoor space, such as a patio or when they’re an existing licensee who wants to increase their licensed capacity whether indoor or outdoor for more than 25% or when the registrar may consider a public notification is due to the location’s past compliance or history of the establishment. It is important to note that there is no public notice for transfer of a liquor sales licence, however the AGCO does perform due diligence checks on all transfer applicants to determine eligibility.

So, what happens after the public notification period? One thing I will mention is that the public notification is a specific amount of time that we will placard, so it could be either seven, 14 or 28 days. What I will mention that when we do receive objections if there are four or less objections we will move the file to what’s called a public meeting conference call. This is an opportunity to identify the concerns of the residents and see if the concerns can be resolved. At this point if those concerns can be resolved the deputy registrar can be approve the issuance of the licence. If for there are more than five objections, or if the municipality on their own passes a resolution to object to the liquor licence, the file will immediately be transferred to the licence appeal tribunal.

The licence appeal tribunal is [does] an adjudication of alcohol matters under the liquor licence act and authority rests with the licence appeal tribunal. They’re an agency of the government of Ontario that adjudicates matters involving licensing activities regulated by various ministries. LAT is an independent adjudicative authority and is not part of the AGCO.

So to find if any applications have been submitted in your municipality you can go to our website at the AGCO portal to view any applications that have been submitted. If there are concerns or someone would like to object, formal objections can only be made through the IAGCO portal and must be received before the deadline.

So, here are some key takeaways, so for first time liquor applications, what we are going to require from municipalities are the municipal information form and compliance letters from fire, building and health, a reminder that municipalities may want to use their own letterhead if they don’t want to use out templates. And again the AGCO’s mindful of the concerns of the residents by also having an environment that permits responsible sale and service of alcohol.

And again, when there are concerns related to a liquor licence application, the AGCO will arrange a teleconference between the AGCO, the licensee applicant and the objectors. Again, the goal of this meeting is to identify concerns and work towards a resolution. If it cannot be resolved through a public meeting conference call, then the matter will be sent before hearing at the licence appeal tribunal.

I will mention that LAT does encourage discussion and mediates settlements between the applicants and the objectors. In these LAT hearings the registrar of the AGCO does not take a position as to whether or not the application should be approved, rather the registrar may take a position whether or not conditions should be attached to mitigate any identified risk. Again, the AGCO’s goal is to support an agreement or resolution that meets the interest of both the objector and the applicant.

Jeff:                 

Great, thanks for that overview Rebecca. We’ll now turn the mic over to Tanya Thake, one of our senior compliance officials, over to you Tanya.

Tanya:              

Great, thank you Jeff. So we’re going to start with risk based licensing and helping you understand what that might be. There are four key components behind risk based licensing. The first one is identifying persons or places that pose specific risk to public safety or public interest. The second is lessening any risk to ensure compliance within the liquor licence act through the lifecycle of the licence. The third is reducing the administrative burden for those who pose a lower risk and fourth it’s focusing more of our resources on establishments that pose enhanced risks.

Risk based licensing at the AGCO allows us to have an approach when issuing and regulating liquor sales licences. We recognize that some establishments pose a greater risk to public safety, public interest and noncompliance with law based on their type of business they run or operate, the location they’re in, past history and experience. Risk based licensing has been in place since 2007 to move towards regulation based on compliance rather than solely on enforcement. It’s helpful for liquor sales licences as it assists in operating establishments in a safe and responsible way and in compliance with our regulations and acts.

Let me note that risk based licensing is an ongoing process and not just a onetime application. Risk levels attached to a licensed establishment can change over time. This risk level can change based on the fact that a licensee may request reassessment or there could be a change in circumstances that lead to this reassessment. Licensees and applicants are able to provide input to us before a risk designation is made or conditions are imposed.

Moving to inspecting establishments, there are over a thousand joint inspections each year by the compliance officials and partnered with local police forces. AGCO has a long history of working in partnership with local municipal licensing and standards, divisions and agencies. Our regulatory compliance branch and the MLS divisions regularly partner during field work operations. We’re able to work together to identify establishments that pose the greatest risks to communities and coordinate methodologies to bring these establishments into compliance with municipal and provincial laws.

This type of information supports better decision making at both the provincial and municipal levels. An example of this would be when a new liquor sales licence application is submitted the AGCO compliance official does attend the premise to make sure that the physical space is the same as the application. The compliance official provides education to the applicant and notifies a local police of this pending application. This is done for each and every municipality.

Compliance officials, or police officers, can inspect for compliance with the liquor licence act and its regulations. We have the authority to do the following, although keep in mind this is not limited to, entering and inspecting premises, asking to see the liquor sales licence as it is required to be displayed in a conspicuous place, ask to see records of liquor purchases and sales for the past 12 months, which include cash register tapes and purchase invoices. Remove documents and liquor for examination and bring information forward to the registrar to consider for compliance action including risk based licensing, monetary penalties, suspension and revocation.

Our top infractions in the province of Ontario are the following, one permit drunkenness, which also includes promote immoderate consumption. Two, sell/serve outside prescribed hours which also includes fail to remove evidence of service. Three, permit disorderly behaviour, which includes drugs and gaming related infractions, four, exceed lawful capacity or premise and five any infractions related to minors.

The registrar currently has various tools of compliance available to deal with the contraventions of our acts and regulations. On slide 25 for those that are following you’ll see a scale at the bottom that ranges from different series of regulator options. Starting on the left we have education, moving right to verbal warning, written warning, licence conditions, monetary penalty, suspension of licence or authorization, revocation of licence or authorization and ending in prosecution.

We at the AGCO regularly aim to provide proactive information and educational sessions for stakeholders on important regulatory issues. Our goal in providing educational programs and products to assist those we regulate and complying with regulatory requirements that are applicable to them. Some examples of these products include information bulletins, packages and toolkits, stakeholder education webinars and Licence Line newsletter.

Moving into some of our strategic partnerships that we’re very proud of, starting with strategic actions for effective results which is also referred to as SAFER, was created in 2014 to enhance the risk based enforcement strategy. It addresses problematic licensees that are habitually noncompliant. Best Bar None is an industry lead international accreditation and awards program that rewards excellence amongst responsible liquor sales licensees. The Ontario restaurant hotel/motel association runs Ontario’s Best Nar None program with the support of us at the AGCO and industry partners.

Award for outstanding liquor enforcement is presented annually and it relates to liquor enforcement, this award is presented by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. Our Last Drink Program aims to improve public safety and reduce impaired driving on Ontario’s roadways. Municipal Police Services inform us at the AGCO of alcohol related driving infractions where drivers name a licensed establishment or a special occasions permit as the location where they last consumed alcohol.

Community Alcohol Safety and Enforcement Program is partnership between the AGCO and Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. Police officers throughout the province partner with AGCO compliance officials and OPP officers to inspect establishments that cater to postsecondary students returning to school. They promote the responsible sale and service of liquor throughout their year.

Some key takeaways are the AGCO employs a risk-based licensing approach to issuing and regulating liquor sales licences. Some establishments pose greater risk to safety, public interest and to noncompliance with the law, risk based licensing is an ongoing process that can occur at any point during the lifecycle of a liquor licence. Most licences will have taken action on their own to address the risk identified by the AGCO and will receive no designation. Thousands of joint inspections are completed annually by AGCO compliance officials when partnered with their local police. The registrar has various compliance tools available to them deal to with contraventions of our acts and regulations, again noting that range in severity from education to revocation of a licence.

The AGCO relies on education and strategic partnerships to assist with those we regulate in complying with the regulatory requirements applicable to them.

Jeff:                 

Fantastic, thanks very much Tanya. Before we move onto the next  section of today’s session I do want to remind people that they are welcome to send in questions at any point and will do our best to review and answer them by the end of the session today, time permitting. I’ll now turn it back over to Rebecca.

Rebecca:          

Thanks Jeff. So I want to talk about special occasion permits, specifically we’re going to focus on the public event permit. But I’ll start off with explaining that Ontario’s Liquor Licence Act requires you to have a Special Occasion Permit if you wish to serve alcohol outside of a resident, a private place or a licensed establishment or to sell alcohol anywhere outside of a licensed establishment.

So, with Special Occasion Permits there are three types of Special Occasion Permits. The first one is for a private event, which sets for invited guests only and there is no room to profit off the sale of alcohol and it’s not advertised. We also have the industry promotional permit and this is for manufacturers or their representatives to do sampling of their product only. And what we’re going to focus on today is the public event permit. And the public event is an event, is a permit, that allows the permit holder to raise funds for charitable purposes or a significant event for the public at large.

So, to qualify for a public event Special Occasion Permit, the applicant must be a registered charity under the income tax act, a non-profit association organization organized to promote charitable, educational, religious or community objects or it could be event of provincial, national or international significance or can be an event designated by the municipal council as an event of municipal significance is what we’re going to focus on today. And we do have a new type of public event permit which is the tailgate permit which tailgate events that are allowed to be held out door in connection with and proximity to an eligible sporting event.

So I’ll start off with municipally significant events. The applicant can be an individual or corporate and they are allowed to profit off the sale of alcohol. In order to qualify as an event of municipal significance the event must be designated in a way, in the municipality which generally can be either a onetime annual or infrequently occurring event, has local regional, national or historical significance, can build awareness of diverse cultures and in the end benefits the community at large.

Some examples of municipally significant events could be the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, Blues Festivals, the Chatham Art in the Park or Taste of the Danforth. Anyone that applies for this permit must submit with their application either a municipal resolution or a letter from a designated municipal official that is designating the event as municipally significant.

So here we just have a schematic of different ways that the permit can be issued. So, what I will mention here is for private events and industry promotional that typically will be reviewed and issued usually within a  24 hour period. If there is an application issued for a public event and if it is an event that is large capacity we will review the application with our compliance officials and with the event organizer. And again this is going to be for really large, typically a capacity of more than a thousand that is going to be outdoors. So as you can see here the municipally for public events will be notified regardless of who the applicant is because for outdoor events the municipally must be notified and fire building and health must also be notified. It is possible for folks to apply for a public event permit while waiting for the resolution to come in.

So here are some really important information that we require in reviewing the application. So we want to know who the applicant is, who the responsible persons are, what the hours of sales are going to be, the estimating attendance. The one thing I’ll mention here is that there is a difference between estimated attendance to the entire event versus the actual licensed area where people will be consuming alcohol, which is the reason why we need the sketch of the actual aerial people will be consuming and if there’s going to be tiered seating. We also would like to know if they’re going to be involved in a street festival that involved liquor sales licensees.

We definitely need all of the notification letters and we definitely want to know about where the storage of alcohol is going to be. If we have any concerns about the legitimacy of an applicant we can always ask for more information by either asking for the constitution of by-laws and again if there’s other concerns we have we are typically in conversations with the applicant or the responsible person.

So for the event the AGCO is here to execute a safe and successful event. It is highly recommended that the permit holder work closely with local AGCO officials, municipal partners in planning the event. And again I’ll mention here for any outdoor event that is going to have a capacity of more than a thousand we will always review the application in our back office and we will always connect with the local compliance official to do their due diligence to ensure that the event is going to be carried on with accordance of the law.

It is highly recommended that the applicant work with the local AGCO compliance official, the local police, fire, emergency services. Obviously if the events taking place on private property they will need the permission of the landlord and if it’s on municipal property they will obviously need the permission from the municipality. It is important to note that the permit holder is responsible for ensuring the alcohol is sold and served responsibly and in occurrence of the law and also the responsible person is also responsible if they are listed on the permit.

So when we review our applications we’re looking at some key risk considerations. So for the applicant, especially for reoccurring events we will look at the applicant, their past conduct, their honesty and integrity, any past liquor related infractions and experience and training. When we look at the type of event we are definitely going to look at the capacity permitted area, whether the event is indoor or outdoor, where the event is located and the hours of operation. If during this process we do identify some risk we have conditions that we can put on the permit to mitigate those risks.

So just switching gears here I just want to remind everyone that the new licensed hours for liquor sales licensees from 9AM to 2AM. So we are - there is an application that is available for licensed establishments to extend their hours of sale for events that are possibly municipally significant. The registrar also has the authority to extend the standard hours of sale and service and licensed establishments if the event is of provincial, national or international significance and obviously events during municipal significance.

For any events that are going to be of municipal significance we will require a resolution from the municipality deeming that event to be of municipal significant. As of January 28 any liquor sales licensees or special event organizers applying to extend hours must also notify the municipality that they are applying for extension of hours. This is really important for those events that are of national, international and municipal significance where they don’t require a resolution. So just to repeat if the application is for an event of municipal significance we require a resolution. However if the applicant has applied for an event of national, international, provincial we do want to see that the municipality has at least been notified that they applied for this type of extension of hours.

So here are some key takeaways, so there are three types of special occasion permits public, private, industry promotional. Public events again are available to help raise funds for charitable purposes, events of significance that benefit the public at large. Any applications for an event that is requested to be municipally significant we will require a resolution or a letter from a delegated municipal official designating the event to be of municipal significance. The AGCO is here to to help permit holders to prepare and execute a safe and successful event.

Jeff:                 

Thanks Rebecca, very informative. We’ll now here from Alison Cazalet, senior manager strategic policy for an update on how the liquor industry is modernizing.

Alison:             

Thanks Jeff. Last fall the government of Ontario announced a review of the framework governing the retail sale and consumption of alcohol in Ontario. Since then they’ve launched a review of the sector, hosted an online public consultation and held stakeholder round tables. And this work has been lead by The Ministry of Finance. In the budget on April 11 of this year the government reiterated its commitment to enhancing consumer choice and opportunities for business. Consistent with this commitment in the budget the government announced a set of liquor reforms. Many of which went into effect last Monday May 6th. I’m going to talk about a few of those changes now.

The first of these reforms that I’m going to cover is the establishment of a new type of special occasion permit called a tailgate event permit. And as Rebecca mentioned earlier this is a type of public event, special occasion permit. The tailgate event permit is for tailgate events that are in connection with and in proximity to a live professional semi professional or postsecondary sporting event. The tailgate event must also be outdoors and at ground level. By this we mean outdoor spaces that are open or partially open to weather elements. Note that we consider temporary structures such as a tent, marquee, pavilion or tiered seating to still be outdoors.

Tailgate events must also take place at ground level, by this we mean on the same level as the natural ground or street. So something like an underground parking garage or the upper or lower levels of a multilevel park aid would not be considered at ground level and therefore not considered eligible locations for a tailgate event.

The permit holder must allow attendees to bring and consume their own alcohol. They will also have, the permit holder, will also have the option to sell and serve alcohol. And it’s important to note that the tailgate permit is the only type of special occasion permit that allows attendees to bring their own alcohol. There’s also no restrictions on vehicles in the area being covered by the tailgate permit.

As noted to be eligible the tailgate event must be in connection with or in proximity to a sporting event which falls into one of these three categories, professional and by this we mean sports where the  participants are major league teams such as the Canadian Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, American Hockey League, National Basketball Association or Major League Soccer. By semi professional we mean sports where the participants are minor league teams such as the Ontario Hockey League, Triple A Baseball or the United Soccer League Championships. And finally postsecondary we mean sports where the participants are extramural, varsity or intercollegiate sports teams that are members of the Canadian inter university sports, Ontario Colleges Athletic Association or Ontario University Athletics.

A few more points on the tailgate permit. There is no requirement that the tailgate event or the sporting event be designated as an event of municipal significance. There’s also no requirement that they, the tailgate event, be endorsed by the sporting team or the sports venue. However as with other special occasion permits, applicants must notify the local municipality, specifically if expected attendance is less than 5,000 people the applicant must notify the local municipal clerks department, police, fire and health 30 days before the tailgate event takes place. If the expected attendance is more than 5,000 people a day the notice to the same group must be 60 days prior or the tailgate event. In addition if there is a tent, marquee, pavilion or tiered seating used, then local building department must also be notified in writing.

As with all special occasion permits, the permit holder is responsible for ensuring they’re compliant with municipal bylaws and all of their laws including the liquor licence act. If an event poses a greater risk to public safety, the registrar may attach conditions to the permit and the permit holder must also comply with these. The permit holder must provide sufficient security to ensure the conditions of the permit and the requirements of the liquor licence act are met. In order to determine whether security is sufficient the permit holder should consider things like the size of the premises, the age and number of persons attending the event and whether vehicles will be present in the permitted area.

Some final points on the tailgate permit. The AGCO began accepting applications on May 6th via iAGCO our online service platform. As noted already our compliance officials will work very closely with applicants and permit holders to ensure they understand their applications and this will happen both prior to and during the event. If you are interested in learning more information about the tailgate event permit there’s information including a guide on the AGCO’s website. As well the full permit rules are set out in regulation 389/91 under the liquor licence act. And you can find that regulation on e-laws.ca.

In the package of recent government reforms there’s a few other changes to be aware of. The first is a change to the requirement for how the boundaries of a special occasion permit are defined. And for clarity this change applies to all types of special occasion permits not just the tailgate one and not just public. So it applies to private, industry promotional and public. Previously the requirement was that the area be defined by a 0.9 metre or 36 inch partition. This requirement has been changed so that now the area must be readily distinguishable from the area not under the permit. So we no longer specify a height.

This change is intended to provide additional flexibility for permit holders to determine how best to meet their obligations. By readily distinguishable we mean that all areas not under the permit must be clearly and visibly separate from the areas that are under the permit. And this could be done in a number of ways such as painted lines, tape or dots around the perimeter, plants, furniture or other fixtures, ropes and temporary fencing, pylons or other similar visible markers or signage indicating where alcohol can be consumed and/or where it is prohibited.

There was also a change to the hours of sale for licensed establishment, by the glass licences and special occasion permits. With this change the sale and service of alcohol can now start at 9AM seven days a week and this is change from 11AM. There’s no change to the end time, which is still 2AM for licensed establishments and SOPS and 9PM for by the glass. For special occasion permits the hour of the event will be stated on the permit and will be somewhere between 9AM and 2AM. And this change aligns the hours of sale for these licences and permits with the hours for the retail sale of alcohol and cannabis retail stores. And just to note this is a permanent change. The extension that Rebecca mentioned earlier is for events of significance where they’re requesting an extension outside of that period of 9AM to 2AM.

The final piece that I’m going to touch on is municipally designated areas for public consumption because this was also mentioned in the April 11 budget. In the budget the government announced it would introducing legislation to allow municipalities to designate public areas such as parks for the consumption of alcohol. It’s important to note that unlike the other changes that were announced in the budget that I’ve just covered, the municipal designation piece is still just a proposal. No legislative changes have been introduced by the government yet. However when this change does happen and a municipality were to designate an area for public consumption it would be the responsibility of local police for compliance with the law within that designated area. The AGCO would not have a regulatory role.

The April 11th budget noted that all of the liquor reforms would be in place by summer 2019 and as I mentioned most of them were in effect as of May 6th. But unfortunately we don’t have any further details at this time as for the timing for the municipal designation change, back to you Jeff.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks Alison. With that we’re going to move onto answering some of the questions we’ve received so far this morning. And I’m going to  start with Tanya with a question about whether the 9AM start time applies to SOP events.

Tanya:              

So the answer in short is no, it’s not just SOP event it’s for all liquor sales across the board.

Jeff:                 

Thank you very much. Question I think for Rebecca, can a baseball tournament organized by a team apply for a licence or SOP for the tournament.

Rebecca:          

So it depends on what kind of application they’re applying for. If it’s public the team or the organization would have to be organized as a non-profit. If they are not a non-profit and they are just a baseball team then they would require a resolution to have an event that’s open to the public.

Jeff:                 

Thank you very much. Another one for Rebecca, can a licensed establishment apply for a tailgate permit in their parking lot?

Rebecca:          

Yes they can providing that they qualify and that they meet the eligibility requirements such as there’s actual live sporting event and the proximity to the stadium.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks again. Lots of licensing question here, one more for Rebecca, for what reason is a resolution required for municipally significant events?

Rebecca:          

Do you want to repeat that one again?

Jeff:                 

Sure, for what reason is a resolution required for municipally significant events?

Rebecca:          

So, the first thing to recognize that with a public event permit ultimately you’re allowed to profit off the sale of alcohol. And so if someone applies to us and they’re saying to us that the event is of municipally significance, we want to make sure that the municipality is number one aware that they’ve applied. And we want the municipality ultimately to approve that they agree that this event is of municipal significance, so whether it’s in a private parking lot or in your park, we want the municipality to be aware that they’re applying under that auspice.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you. Alison, a question for you, can you clarify a bit more about municipalities regulating designated areas for public consumption?

Alison:             

Yeah. As I mentioned that is still a proposal that was in the budget announcement on April 11th. As far as we understand right now municipalities would likely have flexibility to decide what area the municipality they designate and whether that would be temporary or permanent. But until the government introduces legislative changes for that we don’t have much more information at this time.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks Alison. Tanya, a question for you, is there a definition for proximity when describing proximity to a sporting event?

Tanya:              

Thank you Jeff. Actually there is no definition in the regulation. The tailgate event doesn’t need to be endorsed by a sporting event if that makes sense.

Jeff:                 

Okay. Rebecca, a question about tailgating events, do they supersede municipal zoning requirements?

Rebecca:          

The answer is no, they don’t.

Alison:             

Jeff, can I just expand a bit on the proximity question. So with proximity there’s kind of location and a time element to it. So the tailgating event has to be in proximity to the sporting event, so what we mean by that is there’s some kind of reasonable physical proximity between the tailgating event is taking place and where the sporting event is taking place. There is no specific distance; it is something we will consider on a case by case basis as we see the specific details of the application. And there’s also sort of a time element there in that the tailgating event must be taking place somewhere around a reasonable time as compared to the sporting event. So, you know, we’re not talking a tailgate event on a Wednesday connected to a sporting event on a Saturday. There has to be some time connection there as well.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks Alison. Rebecca, please repeat the number of days in advance that event organizers have to notify municipalities of their application for a tailgating permit.

Rebecca:          

So, for all special occasion permits for public events if, the basic is 30 days, so we do need 30 days notification, if people are applying for a public event where they think the estimated attendance is going to be more than 5,000 people and again that’s not a permitted area, that is how many people you think is going to show up we require 60 days notice.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you. Alison, another question for you, will the police be notified of some of the liquor modernization changes that you talked about today?

Alison:             

Yes, we are engaging with the police through the Association of Chiefs  of Police to make sure that they’re aware of all of these liquor changes that have come up now.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you. Tanya, are there dedicated local AGCO officials that municipalities can contact and if yes, how do we find these contacts?

Tanya:              

Okay, so yes there are compliance officials in every municipality. Probably the easiest way for you to get in contact with them would be to reach out to our customer service and the number there if you’re able to capture it is 1-800-522-2876 or you can also find it on our webpage.

Jeff:                 

Thank you very much. Alison, another question for you are there any other timelines municipalities should be aware of for this summer?

Alison:             

Thanks Jeff. So yeah, all of the changes except for the municipal designation piece were effective last Monday, May 6th, that includes the new tailgate event permit and the changes to the hours of sale and the partition requirements. The budget did mention that all of the liquor changes would be in place by summer 2019, so, any of the remaining changes that haven’t gone into effect yet should be in place by the summertime.

Jeff:                 

Thanks Alison. Rebecca, I think this is a question for you, if a service club has a licenced building but wants to do an outdoor event on their property, should they apply for an SOP or an extension of premises?

Rebecca:          

It’s fundamentally up to them. I think it’s probably easier if you get a temporary extension of your premise. There is no fee for that application but we would require a non-objection letter from the municipality if you wanted to extend. It does need to be adjacent to the licence premise. So my advice would be to get a temporary extension of premise, it’s  probably the fastest way to go.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks. Another question for you, can municipalities suspend liquor licences?

Rebecca:          

No they cannot.

Jeff:                 

As per the liquor licence act.

Rebecca:          

As per the liquor licence act, it falls under our legislative authority to suspend.

Jeff:                 

Okay and in a somewhat related question, can a municipality refuse a tailgate permit on city property?

Rebecca:          

Yes, if it’s on their property they can definitely send that information to us and it would prohibit them from being on your property and we would not issue the permit.

Jeff:                 

Okay, we’re going on a licensing run here so more question for you. In addition to approval letters from municipal fire, building and health are any other approvals required from a municipality, for example a letter of non-objection to a liquor licence or a non-objection to a temporary extension?

Rebecca:          

Yeah, so that’s one thing that wasn’t mentioned in this presentation, if someone applies for an extension of premise that is outdoors, we require a non-objection letter, if they extend in an area that’s indoors, let’s say another unlicensed area, we don’t require a non-objection letter.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you. Somewhat related, other than occupant load, is anything else required from the building department for a new licensing application?

Rebecca:          

When we receive the agency letters if the agency is signing off on that letter, you’re basically affirming that they’re compliant with all of the relevant legislation, so for building code if you give an occupant load and you sign if off we’re also making the assumption that they’re compliant with the building code and its regulations.

Jeff:                 

Okay. Another question, this one with respect to SOPs and processing time, how long does it take the AGCO to process a SOP application for a public event?

Rebecca:          

The answer to that is it depends. So it really depends on first and foremost if the application is late or if it’s in advance. If we’re reviewing  it in our back office and you’re having large capacity event it is very likely that the local compliance official is going to meet with the organizer. So, I say it’s as fast as we get all the information that’s required so that we’re assured that it’s going to be number one eligible and that you’re going to have a safe event.

Jeff:                 

Thank you very much. Question here about iAGCO, which is our online licensing portal. And I’ll direct this to Rebecca again, other than iAGCO how can someone formally object to an application? iAGCO is - can be inaccessible to some people.

Rebecca:          

So we have gone paperless and so all of our interactions are through the iAGCO portal. Our preference is that you do it through the portal however if there accessibility issues you could send the objection in writing just to make sure that it comes within the proper placarding period and that it’s not late.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you very much. Another question for you Rebecca, what is the municipalities role with respect to by the glass licences, do they need to make a by the glass bylaw?

Rebecca:          

That’s really up to the municipality. When we introduce this probably the quickest way was for us to get a resolution. Most municipalities, especially in wine country, have done blanket resolutions that cover the entire area it is ultimately the municipality’s decision whether or not they want to make it a bylaw. We would accept that if they made it a permanent bylaw, however some municipalities like to specifically name the applicant or the person applying so it’s really up to the municipality to apply.

Jeff:                 

Okay. We’re on a streak here for another one for you, are municipalities automatically notified when an application is received or should they check the AGCO website?

Rebecca:          

Right now with our iAGCO they should check our website. We hope one day we’ll be able to email them out but where we are right now is please check the website.

Jeff:                 

Okay and we have a question about where on the AGCO website can I find the list of applications? I presume this means the list of applications for a liquor licence, I’ll handle this quickly. It’s not on our website per se, you do need to click on the iAGCO portal and then once you’re there you’ll find one of the I think three options is to search for liquor or cannabis applications. So once you get to the website click on iAGCO and you should be offered an option to search for licence applications. Back to Rebecca, what’s the difference between a tied house and a by the glass licence?

Rebecca:          

Okay, so a tied house is ultimately a liquor sales licence that is on a manufacturing site so often it will be a brewery a micro brewery or a winery or distillery, but mostly wineries and breweries, that allows them to have a full liquor licence. The one thing with the tied house is that it does allow that manufacturer to exclusively sell their own product. So that’s the main difference. The by the glass licence is a specific product that just allows manufacturers to just sell their product by the glass and it’s limited so the hours, the biggest difference is that it only allows them to serve their own product and it’s from 9-9 and it’s limited, so you’re limited in your hours and what you can sell.

Jeff:                 

Okay. Question about I guess licensing processing, specifically around liquor sales licences, does the AGCO contact police to look into past conduct?

Rebecca:          

Yes. So what I will say is we have OPP that are seconded here at the AGCO. We definitely contact police when we have concerns, we have investigative tools. In addition to that we do police checks on all of our applicants and I will say our compliance officials have a very good local working arrangement with local police across the province. So if we have concerns about applicants we will typically reach out through our compliance officials to reach out to their local contacts within your community to gather information.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thank you. I’ll give you a breather here, a question for Tanya. With respect to tailgate event permits, can you provide more information about how it will be regulated with respect to drinking and driving and/or  public consumption and/or mixing of alcohol and drugs?

Tanya:              

Wow, that’s a great question. So basically nothing really has changed in as far as how we regulate alcohol consumption. With tailgating, again if someone is pulled over and ultimately charged with impaired driving by local police, and it’s been identified that that’s where they’re coming from, compliance officials again most of them have a very good working relationship with the local police we would determine where the consumption actually took place and how that would actually impact because there’s a lot of variables as you can appreciate.

If the last drink is consumed within the tailgating area, if it’s within the sales licensed area that they were in, all of those things become factors. So there’s no real clear answer to this question other than all of it would be looked through until we could identify where the last piece was consumed.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks Tanya.

Alison:             

I think Jeff I can also just add it’s also fair to say if the compliance officials are attending at the event and they observe something, you know, that they will contact local authorities as well.

Jeff:                 

Okay, thanks guys. Rebecca, if a municipal council has delegated the clerk to provide a letter designating an event to be of municipal significance, is a municipal resolution required for each event or can the clerk provide a letter for each event?

Rebecca:          

So, if a municipality has designated a specific person to give us those letters we will only require that from that designated official, so you would not have to give a letter and a resolution. I think for a lot of administrative burden these days, a lot of municipalities are identifying a single point of contact to provide us with those letters and really they work it out from an internal process so we would not require both if that delegation has been put in place.

Jeff:                 

Okay and one more question, can a municipal council define what municipally significant means to them or is that set by the AGCO?

Rebecca:          

So, really important question. It is up the municipality to determine what is municipally significant to them. So we will absolutely not put in parameters of what is important to each municipality. Obviously every community is different, has different needs and wants, so it is absolutely, and we prefer, for the municipality to take that in their own hands to define what is municipally significant to them.

Jeff:                 

Okay, we’re out of time. So, with I think we will close the webinar now. Wanted to again though encourage you if we didn’t get to your questions today to email your questions into municipal@agco.ca and we will get back to you. With that I want to once again thank our presenters and hope that you found this webinar today informative.

Also following this broadcast we’ll be emailing a short webinar survey to those who participated today. Please take the time to fill that out if possible as it really does help us ensure that the webinars that we continue to produce are helpful for people who are watching. And in the coming days a caption version of this webinar will be posted on our website for future viewing as well as the downloadable French transcript as well as French slides.

Lastly you can always reach us a municipal@agco.ca or tweet us at our English or French Twitter accounts and thank you all for tuning in today and have a good day.

[End of recorded material [01:01:00]

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