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GNWT Makes Several Changes to Liquor Act

The GNWT has recently made a few changes to the Liquor laws in the Territories.

Increasing personal limits on liquor is consistent with a commitment made by the Premiers of Canada in 2019 to increase or eliminate limits and an agreement in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Action Plan: Trade in Alcoholic Beverages to improve the cross-Canadian trade of alcoholic beverages.

The latest changes include an increase on personal importation limits, separate responsibility for liquor enforcement from the NWT Liquor Licensing Board, a removal of the liquor licence bans on individuals charged with crimes, and formalizing the name for the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Caroline Wawzonek, the Minister of Finance in the NWT, said in a statement that “The GNWT remains committed to ensuring the safe and responsible regulation and distribution of alcohol in the Northwest Territories. These amendments are a first step as part of a larger review of the Liquor Act. The process as a whole will help the government to ensure the Liquor Act best considers the interests of all stakeholders; incorporates best practices from literature and other jurisdictions; and addresses both public safety and business interests.”

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These amendments are separate from the NWT Liquor Legislation Review conducted by the Department of Finance to create more modern, streamlined, and responsive liquor legislation and regulations. More information can be found by clicking here.

The Liquor Act has been amended so that NWT Liquor Enforcement and the Liquor Licensing Board operate independently of one another.

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