Say goodbye to late-night dollar pasta, and parents, you and your offspring can now linger over dinner on a terrasse.

Even as the provincial government is setting down strict laws about where and when cannabis can be purchased and consumed, it is loosening the laws around alcohol.

Bill 170, passed unanimously by the National Assembly on Tuesday, simplifies the alcohol permit system and legalizes consumption in places where people were often already drinking.

Under the new law:

  • people can drink alcohol in a restaurant without ordering a meal
  • people can drink alcohol in a hotel's lobby and other common areas
  • bartenders can prepare drinks before they are ordered when they anticipate a rush of orders
  • restaurants will be able to apply for a delivery permit for alcohol
  • children will be allowed on terrasses where alcohol is served until 10 p.m.
  • grocery stores and depanneurs can sell alcohol as of 7 a.m.

The law will also require restaurant and bar owners to be trained in responsible consumption.

Bill 170 will come into effect as soon as the Minister of Public Safety issues a decree.