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Manitoba earns 'C' grade for liquor policies on national report card

Restaurants Canada says Manitoba's alcohol policies put restaurants and bar owners at a 'distinct disadvantage' to their competitors.

A group of wine bottles on a rack.

iStock

A group of wine bottles on a rack.

Manitoba sets a low bar when it comes to restaurant alcohol policies, according to a national report.

Restaurants Canada, a non-profit group representing more than 30,000 food service professionals across the country, gave the province a C grade in its annual "Raise the Bar" report. The grade is based how friendly liquor policies are for bar and restaurant owners, specifically price, selection, licensing and regulation.

The group says Manitoba made some progress in cutting red tape and streamlining liquor licensing, but its alcohol policies still put restaurants and bar owners at a "distinct disadvantage" to their competitors. That's because hotel, beer vendors and some meal delivery services are allowed to sell wine, beer and spirits offsite.

The group is trying to "level the playing field" and is calling on the province to allow offsite liquor sales for bars and restaurants and introduce wholesale pricing for licensees.

Here's how Manitoba compares to other provinces:

Alberta: B

Quebec: B-

Nova Scotia: B-              

PEI: B-

British Columbia: C

Manitoba: C

Saskatchewan: C-

Ontario: D+

New Brunswick: D

Newfoundland: D-

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