After months of meetings and discussion, La Ronge town council has decided not to move ahead with a plebiscite on three contentious proposed liquor regulations.
The town had been considering limiting liquor sales on month-end paydays and Canada Child Benefit payment days, but has dropped that idea.
Council has also decided not to pursue requirements that retailers refuse the sale of non-beverage alcohol products like hand cleaner if not accompanied by a minimum $30 purchase of additional items not containing alcohol.
At a public meeting in May, council had announced plans to hold a plebiscite on those issues.
Also included in the plebiscite would have been a plan to restrict the retail store purchase of alcohol after 11 p.m.
Instead, an off-sale restriction of midnight will be added to the list of other alcohol policy changes, which will be included in a new municipal alcohol bylaw.
The cut-off time of midnight for off-sales will apply to weekdays, weekends and holidays, beginning January 1, 2019.
Councillor Matt Klassen says council couldn’t come to common ground on proposed liquor regulations, which would have been the focus of a plebiscite.
“Since then, we’ve had further discussions, removed two of the three points,” he said. “As far as limiting sales for off-premise alcohol sales, we’ve set that time at midnight.”
Other initiatives being considered by the town include requirements to obtain a no-cost permit for purchases of large quantities of alcohol over a set personal limit and the establishment of a database by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority that tracks sales of alcohol.
Klassen says those issues still require more work for both the town and the provincial government and won’t be happening any time soon.
(PHOTO: La Ronge town councillors meet on Wednesday night. Photo by David Smith.)