Saint John (September 2, 2020) – A Liberal government will implement a wholesale pricing policy for restaurants and bars for liquor purchases in order to help an industry struggling to rebound from the impact of the current pandemic.
The policy would make the industry more competitive and mirror policies in place the industry in other jurisdictions.
“There’s no question this industry is suffering,” said Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers. “This is a policy the industry has been asking for for some time now. Other jurisdictions do it and now is the time to implement this before we see more businesses fail, and more people put out of work.”
According to Restaurants Canada, more than 23,000 New Brunswickers work in the bar and restaurant industry, which is more than six per cent of the workforce. Many of those jobs are at risk as restauranters struggle to recover from months of lost revenue during the pandemic shutdown and limited capacity under the public health directives as the pandemic continues.
“The Higgs government has done less than any other province to help our economy survive this pandemic,” Vickers said. “Our bar and restaurant industry is a major part of our economy, and they are looking for help. The Higgs government did nothing to help and we are going to change that.”
The wholesale pricing policy will be reviewed after a year to see how effective it is in helping the industry.
“This is at the top of the list of things restauranteurs are asking for, and we’re willing to move ahead with it,” Vickers said. “The more businesses we can keep open the better it is for the economy and the better it is for the provincial government’s bottom line.
“Blaine Higgs wants people to think that things are back to normal for our economy but that’s not the case. We’ve lost thousands of jobs because of the pandemic and thousands of jobs are still at risk, certainly in the bar and restaurant industry. We can’t pretend everything is alright. It’s not. The province has to do more to help the economy, and the bar and restaurant industry is an important part of that economy.”