Volume 93, Issue 51

Tuesday, November 30, 1999


Board of Governors ratifies TA contract

Mercer gets second shot at admin

For-profit growth in CCBC plan

Province gets permit to party even harder

A little nookie goes a long way

Crime on campus discovers the wheel


Bass Ackwards

Province gets permit to party even harder

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Ontario residents can now party like it's 1999 for an extra two hours.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario approved a regulation over the weekend which will allow the 16,400 legally licensed bars and restaurants in Ontario to serve and sell alcohol until 4 a.m. on the night of Dec. 31.

Albert Campion, spokesperson for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, said the regulation will push back the usual New Year's Eve last call hour from 3 to 4 a.m.. "Last call for bars and restaurants will be at 4 a.m. and then the bars will have 45 minutes to clear away bottles and patrons," Campion said.

He explained the special regulation is provincewide and affects all legally licensed establishments. He added last call can also be extended until 3 a.m. for special occasion permits which are granted for gatherings not already legally licensed to sell alcohol.

"We did it because of the millennium. It's a special occasion and that's the only reason," Campion said, adding patron and public safety did not prompt the change in regulation.

The extra hour of drinking has many emergency services planning for added incidents. London Police Sgt. John O'Flaherty said the force organized a Y2K committee, which is comprised of many front line officers as well as administrators to organize an operational plan, most of which has already been tested.

While O'Flaherty said he could not comment on the actual details of the plan, he confirmed a strong and visible police presence on New Year's Eve. "When it's 3 or 4 a.m. and it's the millennium, there's going to be a crowd, people are going to party. But we're prepared," he said, adding all requests from officers for time off on New Year's Eve have been denied.

Vivian Richards, administration clerk with the London Fire Department said each station will be manned by a stationary officer who will be able to personally answer calls in case of any phone system malfunctions.

Susan Kich, manager of the Ceeps, said she was confident New Year's Eve would be a success. "I called the police today to find out what measures are being taken, like how many patrol cars and paddy wagons and beat cops will be out."

Kich explained the bar will be taking extra precautions, both inside and outside the establishment, because the added hour of drinking could pose some problems, such as crowds and brawls.

As for serving patrons until 4 a.m., Kich said the Ceeps is still not sure it will utilize the extra hour. "Very simply we have to wait and see. Three o'clock is generally when everyone starts to have had enough," she said.

Kich said the Ceeps could choose to celebrate New Year's Eve similar to how it celebrates Western's Homecoming, by stopping the sale of alcohol earlier than last call. "We're working on that aspect. We have to sit down and consider all the reasons we should or should not serve until 4 a.m.."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999