When alcohol is delivered directly to the home, there is no safe way to refuse to complete a delivery if there are concerns based on age or the state of the intended recipient’s inebriation.
Halifax (06 July 2020) — Restaurants play an important role in our local economies and communities, and it’s undeniable that they are struggling as a result of this pandemic. However, at this time, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) feel the need to speak up for the important role the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) plays in keeping our communities safe, as they keep alcohol out of the hands of minors and away from those who should not have it, through their “Check 30” program.
Home alcohol delivery puts workers in unsafe position
NSGEU/NUPGE spoke up about these concerns in March, when the province first made the decision to allow alcohol sale with home food delivery, and we continue to be concerned about this issue going forward, as there are calls from the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) to make this change permanent.
The NSGEU/NUPGE represents workers at the NSLC and we know how thoroughly they are trained: they are able to deny someone alcohol because they are in an environment that allows them to do so safely and they have the support of their coworkers and management if a situation escalates. When alcohol is delivered directly to the home, there is no safe way to refuse to complete a delivery if there are concerns based on age or the state of the intended recipient’s inebriation. There is an inherent risk associated with the decision to allow home alcohol sales and delivery, and we feel compelled to call attention to this risk.
Public health cost to alcohol delivery
The role our NSLC plays as a publicly-owned provincial Crown Corporation should be celebrated and protected from creeping privatization. The jobs provided by the NSLC are critical to families and communities throughout the province. Continuing to expand the private sale of alcohol into breweries, wineries, distilleries, agency stores, and now into home delivery through restaurants, carries with it increased health risks as alcohol becomes more readily available. There is a public health cost to these decisions that all Nova Scotians will need to absorb.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE