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April 2, 2020

Further to the Province’s announcement on March 30th 2020 and a subsequent conversation between the MRFA and Minister Jeff Wharton on April 1st 2020, we are proud to be your voice and announce the enactment of this new revenue stream. This temporary measure will be voted on by full cabinet in the next few weeks and we look forward to a more permanent implementation of this legislation. Please see the attached member release for details on this new initiative. We have compiled a list of guidelines and have provided them below. This information is also available on our blog.
 
Under this temporary order for the take-out and delivery of liquor from restaurants: 

only sealed beer, wine, cider and coolers can be taken out or delivered (no spirits or cocktails).

food must be purchased with the alcohol order; no specific food amounts have been regulated.

  • the sale of liquor for take-out and delivery must comply with existing regulations, meaning continuing to serve these types of alcohol in accordance with each establishment’s liquor license (types of licenses and their regulations vary and operators should refer to your liquor licenses).

deliveries with liquor as a component must be handled and delivered by someone of legal drinking age and they must possess a current Smart Choices certification. See this link for requirements. https://www.mtec.mb.ca/smart-choices.asp

  • delivery and take-out pricing for liquor must be at or higher than current menu pricing that is offered in the licensed establishment.

Your MRFA team continues to be your one voice in the food service industry, so please continue to utilize all the MRFA website and communications tools to keep yourself updated on this and any new information effecting our industry. Any questions on liquor delivery and take-out can be forwarded to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our team will be more than happy to assist you.

 
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March 31, 2020

The Manitoba government will authorize the sale of liquor with take out and delivery meal service by licensed establishments, Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.

The MRFA is proud to have represented our members' interests to government and helped to get this legislation passed which will aid our industry during this difficult time.

During this time, the MRFA is opening up our emailing list to non-members and making our new Blog posts public. We do this with the hope that the more information is shared throughout our industry, the better we can weather this storm together. We are dedicated to providing information and resources as they become available.

Please encourage your colleagues and other food service industry professionals to visit our site and sign up for our emailing listview our blogengage with us on social media, and share information with us so that we may in turn share information with everyone in our industry. 

If you have information you believe we should share, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-783-9955.

 
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March 30, 2020

The Manitoba government is issuing a new public health order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Manitobans, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

The chief provincial public health officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the minister of health, seniors and active living.  Among the measures will be in place as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, the following concerns the restaurant and food service industry. 

All restaurants and other commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food to customers in their premises.  This prevents eat-in dining at all facilities.  However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout.  If this takes place, the operator of the restaurant must ensure that all people maintain the appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.

During this time, the MRFA is opening up our emailing list to non-members and making our new Blog posts public. We do this with the hope that the more information is shared throughout our industry, the better we can weather this storm together. We are dedicated to providing information and resources as they become available.

Please encourage your colleagues and other food service industry professionals to visit our site and sign up for our emailing list, view our blog, engage with us on social media, and share information with us so that we may in turn share information with everyone in our industry. 

If you have information you believe we should share, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-783-9955.

 
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March 30, 2020

As we all do our part to try and limit the spread of COVID-19, more businesses are choosing not to accept cash to limit potential exposure.

The Bank recognizes that these measures are being taken with the safety and well-being of both staff and consumers in mind. We all need to be doing what we can to reduce the risks.

You may not be aware that refusing cash purchases outright will put undue burden on the people who depend on cash and have limited payment options. In these trying times, we sincerely hope that as business leaders you will provide Canadians with the goods and services they need – now is not the time to turn them away.

It’s important to keep in mind that the risks posed from handling cash are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces like doorknobs, kitchen counters, handrails, etc. Front-line staff handling cash should follow the public health guidelines on COVID-19 and wash their hands often, as they would do for other activities.

 
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First of all, our family wants to thank you all for your efforts on social distancing and also for your many kind words of support for our “Flatten the Curve” Hand/Surface Sanitizer initiative.  We would also like to thank the other amazing businesses that are supporting our production of this product through their donations of key components and logistics surrounding the production and distribution of this essential product. (Universal Packaging for bottles, Peller Estates for help with the alcohol, Univar Solutions for peroxide, Speedpro Signs Vernon and Wayside Press for the labels). We couldn’t do it alone without their generous support! #localheroes  At this time (and over the next few days) we are really overwhelmed trying to keep up with production and distribution of our alcohol-based sanitizer to the hundreds of emergency front-line medical workers, care homes, homeless shelters and other essential service sectors ranging from ambulance to public utilities and social outreach workers. 
Our plan is to focus directly on these as phase one, then by Wednesday this week we will be in a position to open this up to other sectors and also directly to the public.  We are providing this 100% free of charge to the collective pandemic response effort and are trying our best to help as many as possible, please be patient as we try to focus on those that are most urgently affected and most at risk.
At our public release, Wednesday, this will also be free of charge to our wonderful Okanagan community, but we are going to try to see if we can pay it forward to create an even bigger positive social impact. We will ask that everyone wishing to pick up a personal bottle of our “Flatten the Curve” sanitizer “pay the kindness forward” in any way they can.
We kindly ask the following:

1.  Please only take the volume of sanitizer that you require to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
2.  Please let anyone you know in the local area who is a front-line medical or essential service worker to reach out to us so that we can help them out first. Our staff are being true heroes and are doing their best to produce more every single day, but if you are able to self isolate and are not imminently at direct risk please allow us to service those that are first.
3.  Please call ahead if possible to check on supply as daily volumes fluctuate.
4.  Please be understanding that we are trying our best and a little patience might be necessary.
5.  If you yourself are sick please do not come in personally but ask someone healthy to pick up some for you.  If our family and staff get sick we will not be able to continue producing.
6.  When picking up your sanitizer please be mindful that social distancing is a necessary requirement for all of us.  Give everyone a little space, and please don’t congregate on mass if you have to wait a bit for the sanitizer.  We will do our best to accommodate a safe environment for all at our end, but please help us out from your end too.

Please stay safe and self-distance out there people, and keep following us on FaceBook for updates on our “Flatten the Curve” sanitizer.


Thank you for your understanding and your patience.
Wishing you all the best of health during this stressful time,
The Dyck Family and Staff at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery

We are not usually in the "Hand/Surface Sanitizer Business" but these are extraordinary times.  

The first line of defense against this virus is protection against its spread and for that we need:

1.  Social distancing and self isolation where required.
2.  Regular hand washing and stop touching your face.
3.  Hand and surface sanitizers to kill the virus if and when it gets on surfaces or hands where it can easily be spread.

This is where we come in!  The main ingredient in hand and surface sanitizers that kills viruses and germs is alcohol, and since we're distillers, we LOVE to make alcohol.  We would much prefer to put this alcohol into barrels and make world-class whiskies and gins, but we've decided, for now, to do battle against COVID-19.

Our hand/surface sanitizer is made per the WHO recommended guidelines and is essentially comprised of our alcohol at 70% (and yes it is denatured so that it is no longer drinkable), and then to this denatured alcohol we add small volumes of hydrogen peroxide.  We are not adding thickeners or aloe vera at this time since we are not in the business of making people's hands soft, and we don't want anything to interfere with the alcohol's efficacy. The spray format allows for more versatility of use.

Before you ask: it is safe on the skin, but do not spray it in your eyes or try to drink it.  If you want something to drink, we have lots of other great-tasting options for you.
 

Stay safe out there everyone and look out for one another!

 

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