Nova Scotia modernizing liquor laws, ending plebiscites for dry communities

Nova Scotia will soon cease to be the only province in Canada to require plebiscites to change laws in communities where alcohol sales are restricted.

The province's Liberal government is introducing legislation to bring about the change for the so-called "dry" communities by Jan. 1 next year.

As a result, municipalities will be able to change their liquor laws with a council vote.

Finance Minister Karen Casey announced the changes today to the Liquor Control Act.

The requirement for plebiscites goes back to the prohibition era, and there are about 100 areas of the province where restrictions on the sale or making of alcohol are in still in place.

The plebiscites have been criticized by restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries as an outdated and expensive process that requires up to a year to complete.