Ontario could extend bar hours for royal wedding
Kate Middleton and Prince William, seen here admiring a bouquet of flowers at the Greenmount Agriculture & Food College, in Antrim, Northern Ireland March 8, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Faith
TORONTO - It's a chance to get as drunk as a lord for the royal wedding.
No one's asked yet, but Attorney General Chris Bentley said the government would listen to any requests for a lengthening of bar hours for the regal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April.
"Let me take a look at it and we'll let the (Alcohol and Gaming Commission) consider it and consider the views of those in favour and not," Bentley said. "I know we did it for the FIFA World Cup."
Toronto can extend drinking times even if the province doesn't do so.
The City of Toronto Act gives the council the power to extend bar hours "during events of municipal, provincial, national or international significance."
And the issue comes up frequently. councillors voted to allow several establishments to celebrate St. Patrick's Day beyond their regular hours.
But for royal revellers to bend an elbow on April 29, bars in the province may need an early bird special.
The Westminster Abbey ceremony is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in London - 6 a.m. Toronto time.
Ontario has moved to loosen up liquor restrictions recently and did allow extended pub openings last summer for World Cup soccer games in South Africa.
It's not clear anyone would approach the province to ask but Bentley said "excitement is building" about the royal wedding.
"I hear about it every time I visit my mother," he said.
-Files from Don Peat