As with jurisdictions across North America, the provincial governments of both British Columbia  and Alberta  struggle with spending and debt issues. Thanks to an abundance of natural resources, though, the standard of living in both provinces is the envy of Canada. Although Alberta has been led by a conservative government for seemingly forever, lifestyles in the main urban areas and resort towns are more liberal leaning. The political scene in British Columbia is similar, although the province has been governed by many different parties over the last two decades.
Liquor laws in Canada are enacted on a provincial level, with Alberta having the most relaxed version. The minimum age for alcohol consumption in Alberta  is 18 (it’s 19 in British Columbia , the Northwest Territories , and Yukon ). Additionally, the liquor industry in Alberta is privatized. This means that there are a lot more liquor stores with less restrictions (open seven days, can sell cold beer, and more). In an interesting twist, liquor stores in the Northwest Territories are operated by the government, but locally brewed beer can be sold in convenience stores.
Like the rest of North America, driving in western Canada under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence. Those convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.8 face big fines and an automatic one-year license suspension. Second convictions (even if the first was out of province) lead to a three-year suspension. Note that in both British Columbia and Alberta drivers below the limit can be charged with impaired driving. Alberta operates a Checkstop program, which gives the RCMP the power to stop drivers at random and test for alcohol. It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle or in public places.
Smoking is banned in virtually all public places across Canada. Most provinces have enacted province-wide bans on smoking in public places, including British Columbia and Alberta.
Gratuities are not usually added to the bill. In restaurants and bars, around 15 percent of the total amount is expected. But you should tip according to how good (or bad) the service was, as low as 10 percent or up to and over 20 percent for exceptional service. The exception to this rule is groups of eight or more, when it is standard for restaurants to add 15–20 percent as a gratuity. Tips are sometimes added to tour packages, so check this in advance, but you can also tip guides on stand-alone tours. Tips are also given to bartenders, taxi drivers, bellmen, and hairdressers.