A 42-Hour Party in Canada?

Bars in Canada may get to extend their hours this New Year

Why stop a party just because it’s closing time? In some areas of Canada bars may receive the green light to stay open for 42-hours straight this New Year’s.

In Newfoundland the government has a plan on the table to keep the bars open but bar owners aren’t sure they like the extended hours. Bars on the "Rock" wouldn’t have to close at all between 9 a.m. December 31, 1999 and 3 a.m. January 2, 2000. That’s 42 hours of non-stop partying if a bar owner decides to take advantage of the extended hours.

One Calgary bar owner says he’s not too thrilled about staying open later than usual on New Year’s eve. Mike Merhi told The Calgary Sun it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to stay open much past midnight. Merhi says once the clock hits midnight the party begins to wind down and staying open all night would be a waste of time. Merhi also says his staff members will need a break and can’t imagine asking them to work until the sun comes up.

In Alberta, Canada the story is a bit different. Dave Hancock, Alberta’s Prime Minister, says he sees no reason to change the existing law, which he feels is reasonable. At this time there is no plan to change the liquor laws in Alberta.

In Quebec there’s a plan to extend the bar hours, but not as extreme as in Newfoundland. In Quebec a plan to keep bars open an extra 5 hours is being considered. Quebec’s Public Security Minister says the reason to allow bars to stay open longer is based on safety. Serge Menard told the Calgary Sun the bill he plans to table isn’t aimed at excessive drinking, but aimed at keeping people inside buildings instead of partying on the streets. With the bars open a little longer, Menard believes party goers will be less likely to head out on the streets and cause problems, instead he’s hoping they stay inside to celebrate.

Ontario bars usually close around 2 a.m. and for several years now closing has been extended to 3 a.m. for New Year’s Eve. Much the same is expected to happen in Toronto this year

DATE: 10/25/99

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