Kyle Kirkland is a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Since at least 2016, spread over two different pieces of litigation (2016 court decisions outlining his first lawsuit can be read here and here, and a 2021 decision here) Mr. Kirkland has been seeking a declaration that several sections of Alberta’s Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act are unconstitutional, more specifically those sections that provide the police with powers to exclude and remove from licensed premises any person whom a police officer believes to be associated with a gang. The legislation came into force in October 2009.Continue reading
2021 proved to be another banner year for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it changes to the liquor law landscape. Alcohol & Advocacy frequently describes the liquor laws in British Columbia, and across Canada, as “dynamic” and that remains very much the case.
COVID continued to drive the bus as far as policy changes by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch are concerned. COVID was also responsible for certain, shall we say stubborn, licensees becoming “former licensees”. This year we also saw some notable names in the trade, Burrowing Owl and Fets Whisky Kitchen, involved in contested court applications that may result in a winery and some whisky changing hands – albeit in very different circumstances.Continue reading
On the evening of January 9, 2017, after finishing her serving shift at S&L Kitchen and Bar in Langley, Ms. Cerda remained in the restaurant to have a post-shift drink at the bar with several of her colleagues. Ms. Cerda and her co-workers, after finishing their drinks, had plans to travel to the newly opened S&L Abbotsford location (a related, but legally separate entity), where they had helped train the new staff, for dinner.Continue reading
In March, 2021 the Scotch Whisky Association (“SWA”), a Scotland based trade association of the Scotch whisky industry, and Whyte and Mackay Limited, a Scotland based distilling and bottling company, commenced an action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Macaloney Brewer & Distillers Ltd., the Victoria, BC based owner of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery. Macaloney’s distills, matures, bottles and sells whisky.
The SWA asserts that Macaloney’s whiskies are marketed and branded in a way that would deceive or confuse consumers into believing its product is bona fide Scotch whisky. It’s interesting to note that in their lawsuit the plaintiffs SWA and Whyte and Mackay don’t seek damages, or an order preventing Macaloney’s from distilling and bottling single malt whisky – instead they seek an injunction restraining what they call Macaloney’s “misleading branding and marketing” and an order that Macaloney’s destroy all such packaging and marketing materials.Continue reading
In late 2018 the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its reasons for judgment in Williams v. Richard, the latest in a series of court decisions grappling with the concept of social host liability in Canada. The decision can be read in full here. Williams was an appeal from a summary judgment motion where the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for damages arising from serious personal injuries following a single vehicle incident involving a drunk driver. At issue before both the motion judge and the Court of Appeal was the state of social host liability law in Canada.
As Alcohol & Advocacy has previously reported, the law with respect to social host liability in Canada has been uncertain for some time. In another recent decision out of Ontario, Wardak v. Froom, the court refused to determine at an early stage that a social host could not or did not owe its guests a duty of care to prevent them from driving drunk.
Williams, if it proceeds to trial, may establish precedent that firmly expands the legal liability of social hosts to include the actions of their intoxicated guests when they get behind the wheel. The facts in Williams are grim, creating a very real risk that bad facts may lead to bad law.
On February 13, 2019 the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal released its reasons in Unfiltered Brewing Incorporated v. Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. Those reasons can be read in full here. The appeal was dismissed, with costs ordered payable by Unfiltered Brewing to the Attorney General of Nova Scotia. The trial judge’s reasons are summarized here.
In the recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision R. v. Roudiani, the accused was charged with aggravated assault arising from an incident near the intersection of Granville and Smithe Streets in Vancouver – the heart of the Granville Entertainment District. Mr. Roudiani was ultimately acquitted and those reasons can be read in full here. Mr. Roudiani was successfully defended by a friend of Alcohol & Advocacy – Mr. Joven Narwal.
Of interest to readers of Alcohol & Advocacy is the unreported decision of Mr. Justice N. Smith on a voir dire relating to the admissibility of BarWatch records at trial. Mr. Roudiani asserted that the use of this information gathered by the police during its investigation was a breach of his Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
On October 22, 2018 the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission announced that “effective immediately” bars and restaurants are allowed to mix liquor products with ingredients such as spices, herbs and fruits as well as create house-aged liquor products. Additional changes will allow Albertans to take liquor served at a hotel bar to their rooms or other areas within the hotel.
British Columbia’s liquor laws have permitted these practices since January, 2017.
Other key changes include:
The complete news release can be read here.
In January of this year the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia issued its decision in the matter of Unfiltered Brewing Inc. v. Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. That decision can be read in full here. You can also find a summary of that decision over at Slaw.ca.
The trend of Canadian consumers and licensees challenging how provincial governments regulate, tax, and sell alcohol is alive and well in 2018. The anticipation in advance of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Comeau, and the widespread media attention following its release, speaks for itself. From coast-to-coast Canadians are dissatisfied with the regimes in place in their respective provinces that tax and restrict the sale of alcohol. The ink spilled over Comeau tells us something else too: very few Canadians actually understand how the liquor licensing and retail regimes in their respective provinces operate.