Alberta: Prohibition Makes a Comeback

Alison Ness and the Unbearables

Making plans for your wife or sweetheart for her birthday or Valentine's Day?  Might want to start thinking about making reservations at Burger King or Taco Bell.  If the Alberta government follows through on current plans, it may well be that the only survivors of the attack on small business will be large chain fast-food restaurants who don't sell liquor.

According to Alberta Venture magazine:
...the restaurant industry as a whole has one of the slimmest margins around. According to a Statistics Canada report released last March, pre-tax profit margins in Canada’s commercial food service industry slipped to 4% in 2007, down from 4.3% in 2006. The decrease was primarily due to a 7.4% increase in labour costs and came before the recession started eating even further into profits.
And of those restaurants feeling the pain of a struggling economy the most pain is being felt by full-service restaurants who serve wine with your dinner:
the average Canadian foodservice unit earned a pre-tax profit of just $23,450, says Statistics Canada. Full-service fine dining restaurants have the lowest profit margins in the industry at 3% in 2007. It’s the burger and taco joints that are putting more money in the bank, with an average pre-tax margin of 5.1%
So then.

Imagine the joy of struggling restaurant owners when they are told that their patrons can't have a couple glasses of wine with their dinner, because the Alberta government has decided to enter the criminal law business and outlaw drivers with alcohol levels of .05%.

The B.C. experience, when they enacted the same legislation?  A drop of profits by some 21% on average - according to the Canadian Foodservice and Restaurant Association.

Remember when Alberta was the last bastion of personal freedom in |Canada?

When the concept of personal responsibility was, essentially, a personal matter between you and your neighbor - and where the philosophy of government was, essentially, getting out of your way to allow the hard work and ingenuity of Albertans to move the Province forward.

That was then.

This is now.

The Alberta government, mired in continuing deficits, rather than encourage business in Alberta is actually taking steps to assure that business does NOT succeed, by bringing restaurants and bars to their knees.

Isn't that special?

Where Elliot Ness failed, Alison Redford will succeed.  On the backs of full-service restaurants.