The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 50, which currently only serves members and their guests, is one step closer to expanding services to the general public.
Last week Burns Lake council decided to endorse the Legion’s application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to amend its liquor licence.
After gathering public input, the village determined that there won’t be significant adverse impacts on the community if the application is approved, according to a village staff report.
The input gathered includes the views of property owners within the vicinity, local First Nations and the RCMP. A public hearing was also held on Jan. 21.
Only one property owner responded negatively, noting that the Legion’s liquor licence amendment may deter prospective buyers interested in the Grapevine Pub & Bistro.
But according to the village, endorsing the Legion’s application falls in line with council’s 2020 municipal objects to promote business opportunities.
While Burns Lake RCMP Staff Sergeant Shaunna Lewis acknowledged that opening the Legion to the general public could result in more vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as well as an increase in liquor act and criminal code infractions, she noted these concerns would be the same for any liquor licence request in the community.
Therefore the detachment does not oppose the change, Lewis wrote in an email to the village.
In a recent letter of intent shared with Burns Lake council, Legion Branch No. 50 President Jim McBride said that although providing services exclusively to members and their guests is a long-standing tradition, “times change.”
“As the average age of the membership grows older, we are finding that we are serving a young generation, and we must adapt to that clientele,” said McBride, adding the Legion intends to use the increased revenue from its expanded clientele to do more for veterans and the community.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 50 has made several financial contributions to local organizations. Most recently, it donated $3,917 to the Burns Lake Fire Training Society.
The Legion offers regular activities to its patrons such as darts, cribbage and karaoke, and hosts parties around special dates such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It also organizes events like the Canada Day breakfast and the Remembrance Day parade.
The request to amend the Legion’s liquor primary club licence to a liquor primary licence still needs to be approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.