FREDERICTON (GNB) – An online course on responsible practices will become mandatory later this year for anyone who serves and sells liquor at licensed establishments in the province. The requirement is part of recent amendments to the Liquor Control Act that were tabled last year.

Changes now also allow the sale of liquor with food orders for take-out or delivery. Industry had originally been granted temporary permission to do so under the mandatory order of the state of emergency, but effective May 1, this activity is permitted under the Liquor Control Act regulation.

The online course, which will be delivered by the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick, is now available for owners of licensed establishments who want their staff to get a head start before Sept. 1, when the training becomes mandatory.

“Many Canadian provinces require that bartenders and servers be trained on how to refuse service if a consumer is intoxicated, as well as other regulatory matters,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “We are pleased that the tourism industry association will be delivering a flexible training option for those who work in the industry.”

The association’s online course has been approved by MADD Canada as meeting national curriculum standards. The course will be offered to participants free of charge now through March 31, 2022 thanks to $150,000 in support from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

“As businesses emerge from the pandemic, it is important that we support them in ways such as this,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “By funding this online training program, we support a valuable public safety initiative without having a negative effect upon employers or employees.”

“We are very happy to have been able to work out an arrangement with the provincial government so that online training for staff at licensed establishments can be provided free of charge for a determined period of time,” said Carol Alderdice, president and chief executive office of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick. “Certification is for five years, and all our licensed operators across New Brunswick can take advantage of this offer.”

Information on how to access the new training course for bartenders and servers is available on the association’s website.

Flemming said the change to allow the sale of liquor with food take-out and delivery orders has proved beneficial for the industry during tough economic times.

“It was encouraging to see the support given to local business owners when New Brunswickers were advised to stay home and avoid going out,” said Flemming. “Several jurisdictions opted to do the same at the height of the pandemic. We are pleased that restaurants can continue to offer this service to their customers, following the rules established in regulation.

“I also encourage New Brunswickers to enjoy alcohol responsibly. Consume with moderation, and don’t drink and drive.”