News / Calgary

Relaxed booze rules go down easy during Calgary Stampede

Advocates for loosening up Alberta’s booze rules are toasting what’s reported to be an orderly Calgary Stampede experiment.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission didn’t log any complaints after allowing city watering holes to serve booze as early as 8 a.m. during the world-famous hoedown.

That was welcome news to Mark von Schellwitz of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, which represents some 30,000 establishments including 4,000 in Alberta.

“This is the second very successful pilot we’ve done by extending liquor hours,” von Schellwitz said Wednesday. “Hopefully as a result of this we’ll have more flexibility in the future when it comes to liquor service hours.”

Those who campaign against drunk driving — including the Calgary chapter of MADD and police Chief Rick Hanson — had questioned the decision.

However, AGLC spokesperson Tatjana Laskovic confirmed her office had yet to hear of any issues.

“Our inspectors were doing their regular enforcement duties and they haven’t received any information or made any observations there was any concern,” Laskovic said.

She also noted the Alberta's liquor regulator didn't record any complaints when bars were granted special permission to serve suds at 5 a.m. for the Olympic men’s hockey final in February.

The Calgary Police Service is still reviewing the latest 10-day experiment, according to a spokesperson.

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