Liquor Licensing

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ("NSUARB" or "Board") carries out adjudicative functions under the Liquor Control Act and the Liquor Licensing Regulations. Effective January 4, 2012, the Board considers liquor license applications, quiet enjoyment complaints or disciplinary matters referred to the Board by the Executive Director of the Alcohol and Gaming Division, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations ("AGD") or appealed to the Board from decisions of the AGD by licensees or applicants for licenses. The Liquor Licensing Regulations provide direction on the process for appeals or referrals to the Board.

For an appeal or referral of a licensing matter, the Liquor Licensing Regulations refer to a public consultation process outlined in s. 85A - 85E of the Regulations.

In considering licensing matters appealed to the Board by a licensee or applicant, or referred to the Board by the AGD, the public consultation may involve a public hearing in the community where the proposed establishment is located. Notice of the public hearing is given in newspapers circulating in the community. The principal test to be met by an applicant at a public hearing is to satisfy the Board that the premises to be licensed will not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of neighbouring properties, either public or private, including private residences, churches, nursing homes, hospitals and similar institutions. Interested parties may write to the Board to express their views on an application, or appear at the public hearing, or both. Written submissions are copied to the applicant in order to ensure fairness in the process.

Although not required, applicants are often represented by legal counsel at hearings. If an application is contested, the Board generally reserves its decision. All Board decisions are in writing and are available to the public.

Disciplinary matters appealed to the Board by a licensee, or referred to the Board by the AGD, involve licensees who are charged by the AGD (Investigation and Enforcement), with infractions of the Liquor Control Act and/or Liquor License Board Regulations. Both the AGD and the licensee are usually represented by legal counsel at such hearings. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the Board has a range of disciplinary options, including the power to dismiss the charge, suspend licensing privileges for a stipulated period of time, impose conditions on the operation of the establishment, impose a combination of sanctions, or cancel the license.

The Liquor Control Act and the Liquor Licensing Regulations can be accessed through the "Statutes" and "Rules and Regulations" buttons located on the top of the screen.

Also, decisions of the Board can be accessed through the "Decisions" button located on the top of this screen.

The Board has issued the following Generic Orders respecting matters coming before it.

The Board may issue policies consistent with the Liquor Control Act and the Liquor Licensing Regulations.

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