Halifax — It has been a busy week for lawyers representing the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, and apparently its legal team will not be getting a break anytime soon.
First, a lawsuit was filed by the microbrewery Unfiltered Brewing Inc., over NSLC’s policy of levying a $0.50 fee per litre sold in the province, even if it is not in one of the NSLC’s stores, a fee that the owners of Unfiltered claim is unconstitutional. In a move that surprised many, a second lawsuit has been filed by the members of the Kappa Kappa Phi fraternity, whose members allege that the NSLC’s policy of closing its locations at 10 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays places an undue barrier in the way of their binge-drinking.
“We felt embolded [sic] by the Unfiltered lawsuit, but honestly this is something we’d talk about every time we were out drinking,” said third-year Dalhousie University law student Taylor Bachmann in a written statement issued to the press. “We feel that to remove our constitutional ability to continue drinking after getting thrown out of every possible venue from Stillwell’s to Swiss Chalet, as does so often happen, is in direct violation of our rights as consumers.”
Speaking with The Manatee, NSLC spokesperson Kary Fendstein responded. “It’s our stated policy not to serve intoxicated patrons, and our decision to close at a relatively early hour reflects that. This suit is groundless, and beyond that, we have no comment.”
Still, members of the fraternity are adamant that liquor sales policies in the province need to change. “We work hard, we need to be able to party hard,” said Jason Fitzpatrick, a second-year med student at Dalhousie. “I don’t want to live in a world where you can’t buy Silver Patrón to split with some girl you just met at a club and who totally loves tequila but you don’t want to fork over your entire trust fund to some loser bartender for like, five shots.
“The system is rigged,” continued Fitzpatrick — who, at press time, was the child of upper-middle-class parents who supported him emotionally and financially throughout his life, including as he entered post-secondary school for the high-paying, successful career of his own choosing. “We’re the little guy.”
Law professor Travis McMurtry believes the fraternity has a strong case. “We’re living in an era where the focus of government is more on a consumer model than actual governance. These young men will someday soon be making low-6-figure taxable incomes hand-over-fist — so it makes sense that while they’re still living a little wild that the government liquor stores find another way to squeeze some of Mommy and Daddy’s money out of them by staying open after their judgment is even more impaired.”
McMurtry has even pledged to lend his advice to his students’ legal battle with the NSLC. “I figure, why not? They’re paying my salary too, after all.”