That smell in the air: A fine wine, a vintage Scotch, a microbrewed lager? No. That’s the scent of an election in the offing.
The Ontario government that likes to legislate dog ownership, lawn care and light bulbs wants to relax regulations on alcohol consumption. Possible changes to liquor laws include allowing all-inclusive (i.e. all-you-can-drink) vacation packages, allowing patrons of festivals to wander freely with a drink in their hand and even real tailgate parties at sporting events.
It’s no use “Premier Dad” McGuinty insisting this has nothing to do with this fall’s election. Even if the proposals have been in discussion for months and years, the timing is just too good for the flailing-in-the-polls governing party. As for complaints it is blatant electioneering … we would have to ask Tim “Buck-a-Beer” Hudak about that.
For all that, these are, generally, good moves.
All-inclusive holidays would be a year-round boost for the province’s tourism sector. Apres-ski, after-swim or fireside with a book, vacationers like the convenience of ordering a drink without reaching for their wallet. All-inclusive vacations would put Ontario resorts into competition with the rest of the word. Concerns about public drinking, such as at festivals and outside stadiums, would have to be addressed through careful criteria so licence applications would be judged individually on their merits. But certainly there’s room – with safeguards for the public – to treat adults like adults.