Homemade beer, wine and cider at weddings, online cannabis sales part of province’s red tape reductions

Serving homemade wine, beer and cider at weddings, family reunions and other non-sale special events are among the changes the Government of Alberta is making in the interest of red tape reductions.

The province announced eight changes under the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021 (No.2) on Thursday, moves government says will “make life easier for Albertans and drive Alberta’s economic recovery.”

“Cutting red tape helps create the strong and stable business environment we need to boost job creation,” said Tanya Fir, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction in a media release. “Given the hardship Albertans have faced over the last few years, it’s critical that we make it as easy as possible for businesses to operate, invest, create jobs and drive Alberta’s economic recovery.”

Below is the list of amendments:

  • Promoting economic growth through tourism and community revitalization by enabling municipalities to create entertainment districts, designated public areas where adults may responsibly consume alcohol.
  • Supporting licensed cannabis retailers to grow their businesses by entering the online cannabis market.
  • Allowing made-at-home beer, wine and cider to be served at private non-sale special events, so Albertans can enjoy homemade drinks at weddings or family reunions.
  • Modernizing Alberta Human Rights Commission processes to address complaints more quickly, reduce backlogs and make tribunal hearings more accessible.
  • Consolidating Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan rules in one piece of legislation to modernize language and improve clarity for industry and the public.
  • Enabling more efficient regulation of Alberta’s credit union system by providing legislative authority for transferring oversight of Alberta Central to the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation.
  • Ensuring Crown mineral agreements are responsibly managed by enabling a faster and more efficient way to replace designated representatives.
  • Giving the insurance industry the ability to set and change fees for activities related to the regulation of insurance professionals, such as examinations, licensing and continuing education.

Thursday marks the fifth round of red tape reductions. The Government of Alberta has already approved Red Tape Reduction Implementation Acts.

Chris Nielsen, the NDP Critic for Red Tape Reduction, said Thursday that the UCP’s top priority should be cutting the red tape that is keeping COVID-19 emergency financial support out of the hands of small businesses.

“We’ve been hearing from hundreds of business owners who are struggling to survive and have been waiting for payments for months,” Nielsen said. “Given the UCP’s terrible handling of the health care system and the pandemic, and their lack of transparency, the health minister must immediately confirm that amendments in the Health Insurance Premiums Act and the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act will not lead to the introduction of health care premiums.”

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