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Bars, pubs get special exemption

Subject to local government bylaws, pubs/bars will be allowed to extend their operating hours for the bronze and gold medal Olympic men's hockey games, provided no liquor is served, so that fans can share the experience and cheer on our Olympians together.

The bronze medal game is scheduled for 7 a.m. Saturday with the gold medal game Sunday at 4 a.m. (Pacific Time).

The hope is that Canada is fighting for the gold.

However, regardless of whether Canada makes it to the gold medal game, the BC government will make an exception to the rules around operating hours, creating a unique opportunity for fans and BC businesses.

In the spirit of the Olympic Games, pubs and bars will be allowed to open at 6 a.m. (Pacific time), as per usual policy, for the bronze medal game on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.

For the Olympic gold medal game - which takes place at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 - pubs and bars will be allowed to extend their hours so that patrons can stay and watch the game.

However, in the interest of health and public safety, liquor service hours will remain unchanged.

This means that the earliest liquor service can begin for all establishments on either day is 9 a.m., but only for those establishments whose licences allow it.

For those pubs/bars that choose to extend their operating hours, unfinished liquor must be taken from patrons within 30 minutes of when liquor service hours end.

Patrons will not be allowed to consume liquor after that time. Under current policy, restaurants already are permitted to operate 24 hours a day, subject to local government approval, but cannot serve liquor outside of their licensed hours.

Establishments that wish to partake in extending their operating hours must signal their interest to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch prior to noon on Friday, Feb. 21, by email: [email protected]

This will help protect public safety by ensuring government has a list of all pubs/bars that are planning to open at 4 a.m. for the gold medal match, regardless of where they are in the province.

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