Quebec restaurants can now sell alcohol through delivery apps after last-minute vote
MONTREAL -- Quebec restaurant owners marked down a win on Friday when the government rushed to pass a bill allowing them to sell alcohol with food delivery orders on apps like Uber Eats.
Bill 72 was passed on the very last day of the government's fall session, though restaurateurs have been pushing for an update on permits since the COVID-19 pandemic began and forced them to close their dining rooms -- with many then forced to do the same again in the fall.
The change also means restaurants can sell alcohol to customers who don't order food, a luxury previously only afforded to businesses with bar permits.
Quebec Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault said on Twitter that this change -- effective immediately -- is bringing the province into modern times.
"Thank you to colleagues from all parties," she wrote. "When we want, we can!"
The bill was passed a day after dozens of Montreal restaurant owners took part in an act of civil disobedience. On Thursday, dozens of them posted photos on Instagram of themselves selling wine bottles to customers.
The owners said it was an attempt to get the government's attention, as many feel abandoned amid the second wave of COVID-19. They say they haven't yet received the financial help promised to them when they were forced into a second lockdown.
Earlier this week, the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, admitted that the decision to close restaurant dining rooms at the beginning of October was made by the government rather than by public health authorities, further angering owners.
Quebec's brewers' association took to Twitter to thank the government for its decision on Friday.