Subject to local government bylaws, pubs/bars will be allowed to extend their operating hours for the bronze and gold medal Olympic men's hockey games, provided no liquor is served, so that fans can share the experience and cheer on our Olympians together.
The hope is that Canada is fighting for the gold. However, regardless of whether Canada makes it to the gold medal game, the B.C. government will make an exception to the rules around operating hours, creating a unique opportunity for fans and B.C. businesses.
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, pubs and bars will be allowed to open at 6 a.m. (Pacific time), as per usual policy, for the bronze medal game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.
For the Olympic gold medal game - which takes place at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 - pubs and bars will be allowed to extend their hours so that patrons can stay and watch the game.
However, in the interest of health and public safety, liquor service hours will remain unchanged. This means that the earliest liquor service can begin for all establishments on either day is 9 a.m., but only for those establishments whose licences allow it. For those pubs/bars that choose to extend their operating hours, unfinished liquor must be taken from patrons within 30 minutes of when liquor service hours end. Patrons will not be allowed to consume liquor after that time.
Under current policy, restaurants already are permitted to operate 24 hours a day, subject to local government approval, but cannot serve liquor outside of their licensed hours.
Establishments that wish to partake in extending their operating hours must signal their interest to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch prior to noon on Friday, Feb. 21, by email: email@example.com.
This will help protect public safety by ensuring government has a list of all pubs/bars that are planning to open at 4 a.m. for the gold medal match, regardless of where they are in the province.
- The authority to allow for these changes is under section 44 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act regulation. It gives the general manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch the authority to permit patrons to stay in or enter a liquor primary after liquor service hours.
- B.C.'s liquor inspectors have regular processes in place when it comes to inspecting establishments. The laws for licensees are clear. Government expects them to abide by the terms of their licences.
- Restaurants, pubs and bars already are able to open and, if their licences permit, serve liquor during the women's Olympic gold medal game, underway at 9 a.m. today.
- The puck drops for the bronze medal game at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. The gold medal game starts at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.
B.C.'s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/
The schedule for the Olympic men's hockey games: http://olympics.cbc.ca/hockey/event/men/index.html
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice