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Liquor Control Act Charges Laid Against Halifax Ale House After Homocide Outside Bar

The province has laid two Liquor Control Act charges against the Halifax Alehouse following an alleged assault and a homicide outside of the late-night bar last year. The charges stem from an investigation that Nova Scotia's Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division launched into incidents involving the Halifax Alehouse and its staff over an unspecified period last year, CBC News has learned. The division began the probe after being contacted by Halifax Regional Police about an incident outside the Alehouse on Dec. 24 that resulted in the death of 31-year-old Ryan Sawyer. "It did open up a broader investigation for us," said John Paul Landry, the division's executive director. Memorial scheduled for Ontario man killed in Halifax on Christmas Eve 'Could have been me': Man allegedly assaulted by Halifax bouncers 'terrified' by December homicide The division alleges that the Alehouse allowed activity that's "detrimental to the order of the control of the premises" and did not report criminal charges laid in relation to an incident on or around its property, Landry said. The investigation has been completed and the matter will go before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, he said. The punishment could be "anything from conditions of license to suspension to just permanent revocation," Landry said.

Allegations against bouncers He couldn't provide further details about the investigation, but confirmed that it involves the Dec. 24 death and an altercation in October that led to criminal charges against two Alehouse bouncers. The owners of the Halifax Alehouse declined to comment on the investigation. A witness who was outside the bar in the early hours of Christmas Eve told CBC News he saw a security guard put a man in a chokehold before police arrived. Emergency responders found Ryan Sawyer unresponsive on the street and he was taken to hospital, where he later died. The province's medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. Halifax Regional Police have said they can't provide any more information about the incident because their investigation is ongoing. No charges have been laid. A pair of Alehouse bouncers were charged with assault in relation to a separate incident that occurred on Oct. 10, in which a 21-year old man said he was attacked outside the bar. Matthew Day and Alexander Levy have both pleaded not guilty to the charges, which have not yet been tested in court. A portion of text from a lawsuit filed against the Halifax Alehouse last year. In a lawsuit against the Halifax Alehouse filed in December, a man alleges he was attacked by several security staff while sitting on the patio on Aug. 14, 2022. (CBC) The bar is also the subject of a civil lawsuit stemming from an incident last summer. A patron filed a lawsuit against the Alehouse alleging that he was attacked by bouncers on Aug. 14, leaving him with serious injuries.


New rules Last week, the Nova Scotia government announced that bouncers will now be required to complete security training to work at late-night bars in the province, including the Alehouse. Bar security staff will also need to provide a criminal record check on request, and complete a responsible beverage service training program. The new rule applies to staff at the bars with cabaret licences, which allow them to stay open until 3:30 a.m. They include: The Dome, Halifax. Level 8 Night Club & Lounge, Halifax. HFX Sports Bar & Grill/The Alehouse, Halifax. The Toothy Moose, Halifax. The Capri Cabaret, Sydney. Gap in rules around bar bouncers needs to be addressed, professor says N.S. to require training, criminal record checks for bouncers at late-night bars.

N.S. to require training, criminal record checks for bouncers at late-night bars.

Landry said any effort to make patrons and staff safer and prevent people with violent backgrounds from working as bouncers is a positive step. He said the charges against the Alehouse show that the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division has the tools it needs to keep the public safe and hold licensees accountable.

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Public Comments


Paul Bronfman

22 May 2023 At 11:30 pm


It's long overdue - I have had friends hurt by bouncers for no reason whatsoever. A welcome change for those of us who enjoy the nightlife.


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