Blog Post #1 – The Consultation Process (by John Yap)

Thank you for visiting B.C.’s liquor policy review website – the input and ideas you share here will be vital to shaping the future of liquor policy in B.C.

There are so many ways to look at potential liquor reforms, especially when you consider the perspectives of those who make, distribute, sell, buy, consume, and regulate it. Our government wants to hear it all. Whether you have innovative ideas on how to improve customer convenience or grow B.C.’s economy – or are more concerned with ways to maintain public health and safety – this website is your chance to join the discussion.

This is the first major liquor review to take place in over a decade – and the first time since 1987 that a government has involved the voices of British Columbians.

And right here, on this website, is where you can have your say. As you explore the site, you’ll find many places to log your thoughts – through blog discussions, Twitter chats and direct email. You’ll see submissions from stakeholders on changes they would like made, video blogs from my travels around the province collecting ideas, and graphics that help explain the history of liquor laws in B.C. and where things stand today.

The website will be live until Oct. 31, 2013. After this, I’ll take everything I’ve heard into account and use it to inform my report to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. I’ll present it to her at the end of November and the report will then be posted right here for you to read, if you’d like.

I look forward to this journey together, and to ultimately changing B.C.’s liquor system in ways that best balance economic growth, customer convenience and the well-being of British Columbians.

John Yap

Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Liquor Policy Reform

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728 thoughts on “Blog Post #1 – The Consultation Process (by John Yap)

  1. Generally, the laws should be liberalized, simplified and restrictions based on assumptions (such as protecting kids from liquor) should be dropped. Deal with the abuse of alcohol, which is anti-social. Allow the social use of alcohol. Hold the provider of alcohol responsible for the behaviour of the consumers, through proper government regulation of fines, suspension and revocation, and exposure to civil liability. 19 is an acceptable age of use.

    Do not give undue consideration to the health care “experts” who back restrictions through anecdote, without good evidence. They see a skewed population– the abusers. Same problem as with bike helmets: doctors see the injured ones and support mandatory helmets, although the data do not support that policy.

    Thanks for a good public consultation.

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  2. Basic common sense. More access to booze. More problems. Limit access limit problems. The police and MADD are right. Even liquor inspectors do not want more access. Wanting to increase tax revenue by bumping up access to booze is not in the publics best interest. Drunks on the road are at an all time low if access increases so will drunk driving guaranteed. Again Limit access. Limit problems. Bc does not need any more problems. Look around

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  3. I have now commented on all 11 blog posts. I appreciate having the opportunity to make my voice heard. I do not know if it will make any difference at all but I feel like it’s my responsibility to say that I want our BC Liquor Act to promote the health of British Columbians even if it means that it’s a little less convenient for us to buy a bottle of wine. Or that perhaps we have to pay a little bit more money for it. Alcohol is a privilege and a luxury that comes with great responsibility since it can cause so much harm and we should all be very mindful of the risks associated with it. Alcohol can be consumed safely but our Liquor Act needs to provide the structure to encourage safe and responsible alcohol consumption in this province. It has to come from the top down and health promotion should be at the root of liquor policy in BC.

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  4. \my view is there are enough liquor outlets now aviable to the local consumer and the visitor. i beleive that we need to continue on the path of slow and steady. we should also keep in mind the excessive use of this drug and not underestimate the over use and adiction that it can have on many people. having said that there are many people that do handle this drug in a social setting and can control themselves and not let the drug contol them.small changes are expected but rash over exposure is not needed. we do not need big buisness making the decision on liqour sales as they are truley bottom line focoused ,smaller family business are more reliable as they have a greater control on who and when they sell liquor as has been demonstrated.

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  5. Say no to the sale of liquor in the grocery stores! The common belief is that if the big box stores sell liquor, it will be cheaper. How is this possible? Will the bigger outlets be offered price breaks for higher volumes? Will they pay less for liquor licenses than everyone else? Will they be issued liquor licenses outside of the caps currently in place? Unless they are given unfair government backing (which kills most small businesses unable to compete), to my way of thinking, the price of alcohol will go up if sold in big box stores. What of the cost of increased security required to prevent theft, under-age purchasing and bootlegging. What of the cost of Serving It Right Certification currently required for every employee who sells or handles retail alcohol within the establishment? What will be the increased cost to the government to provide more liquor inspectors and police officers to enforce existing laws? They are already spread too thin as it is!

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  6. Having liquor available in the grocery stores is a horrible idea!!! As the system stands, liquor is sold in an ‘adults only’ environment where adult issues are dealt with by adults. I have worked in a liquor outlet before and I know what can happen there. Although it is not a regular occurrence, eventually it happens in every store that a drunk person is refused service and causes a scene. Sometimes to the point of needing to be removed from the premises or restrained. I don’t want my children exposed to that or worse yet, caught in the crossfire! Who would take responsibility for security? What would that cost? How would this cost effect pricing? This change is not worth the risk to public safety or the cost of increased security to enforce existing laws all for the convenience of one-stop-shopping. Leave alcohol where it belongs and let me do my grocery shopping with my children in safety.

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  7. I am not in favour of allowing unfetered access to alcohol. If you allow alcohol to be sold in grocery stores you have given up the control and regulation the government has for years carefully developed. Government and private liquor stores are strictly monitered and supervised by the LCB liquor inspectors. Vigerous enforcement of regulations including sales to minors, and intoxicated persons ensures liquor sales are tightly controlled. Alcohol is allready available 7 days a week from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM at over 1100 liquor stores throughout the Province. If you allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores you will have no control of who buys what and not nearly enough liquor inspectors to regulate and enforce liquor laws. You are inviting alcohol abuse on a large scale from under age drinkers to alcoholics. I would be interested in knowing if the Chiefs of Police have been consulted. How much more manpower would be needed if you license grocery stores? Who are you catering to, the average Joe who allready has almost unlimited access or is it Political patronage?

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  8. I am not in favour of liquor sales in grocery stores. I think the exiisting model for liquor sales serves the needs of the publlic in a safe and responsible way. We would all like to see lower liquor prices but this is not going to happen by allowing it in grocery stores.

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  9. More than anything, I would like to see “Happy Hour(s)” in the lower mainland. I think it is unfortunate that many other jurisdictions have this and we have lagged behind. Please note that about three times every year myself and a group of about 5-8 friends drive down to Seattle, drawn by various events, but we always carve out a couple nights to go out on the town.
    We do “homework” ahead of time so as one location’s happy hour is ending, we move to another. The age range of our group is 25-35, we have people who work in the trades, BioTech, mechanics and even a couple PhDs (all of us with stable family lives). We are out to just have a good time and get the best return for our money. Now consider that allowing solid “Happy Hour(s)” to occur in Vancouver would not only give individuals such as us a pause as to whether or not to drive down, but might also draw tourism up here.
    If Vancouver is a world class city (especially with an amazing Micro-Brew scene), lets have world class policies. Please modernize how liquor is handled. If not, well that’s fine, there is always other places people like us and others can take our money.

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  10. I would like to see alcohol sold in grocery and corner stores and forget the store within a store- just sell it on the shelves! Also the drinking age should be 17-18. A more European attitude to alcohol would go a long way in reducing binge drinking in teens. I plan on letting my son have the occassional wine at dinner at 15 or 16 so it won’t be forbidden fruit until 19. Sugar is more harmful to society than alcohol. At least alcohol in moderation has health benefits!
    Oh and as someone who is car free, legal delivery would be nice. Loved it in Montreal, but don’t know if it was legal or not.

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  11. It’s time for establishments to fess up to serving sizes (FUSS). A proper imperial pint is 20 oz, but that doesn’t stop many restaurants and pubs, who should know better, from serving U.S. “pints” (16 oz) or even smaller. And what dishonest publican doesn’t love to serve beer in that most ambiguous of serving sizes, the sleeve? It could be anywhere from 10 to 15 ounces, but it is certainly never a pint.

    The consumers of BC deserve better. Food items in grocery stores are regulated so we know exactly how much of a product we are buying. Drink servings should be no different. Mandate measurement lines on the side of glasses to let us know exactly how much of a good thing we are consuming.

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  12. Hello, It appears that you do not have any sympathy to middle class people that have worked very hard to build up a business like an LRS and RAS which is not all that profitable. You are giving the big corporations an additional opportunity to consume more money that they do not need. By adding additional outlets will only take away from the existing stores. The overall sales will remain the same. This Province is only for the very rich and the very poor. I have been in business for 47 years. There is always an un easy feeling doing business in BC. Recently there was a Policy in place as of April 28 that ensured no more Licenses would be granted till 2018. The province should focus on creating new industry in BC not just adding more alcohol to the system which will ultimately lead to more social and safety problems. The restaurant industry will suffer greatly. I have personally owned and ran several liquor stores, pubs and restaurants. In smaller communities unlike the big city, where there is large population base, it is very difficult to sustain business and get ahead. Long hours of work with little profit. To add liquor sales in big box and grocery stores would destroy the restaurant industry. Please consider the middle working class individuals. There is know way that you can use the USA as a model. They have a population of 335 million people. The pie is getting smaller and smaller for the existing stores and will no doubt have a huge employment drop. The notion of big box stores and grocery having alcohol makes me ill just thinking about it.

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  13. I do not agree and find it frustrating to see the greed of BC Liquor. Alcohol do not need to be so expensive. lower prices on alcohol and lower the drinking age to 18.
    I am a 48 years old man from Quebec. I do not consider myself to be an alcoholic. I like red wine especially in the winter a cold beer in the summer and an old scotch when I feel like it.
    People get their alcohol from at least 15-16 years old from restaurants, lounges, beers & liquors stores in many different ways but they get it.
    Where I’m from liquor is sold everywhere and there is no more issues then in BC.

    We don’t need to challenge the people’s desire to get alcohol, we need to empower them with education about it. We all have different perspectives mine isn’t a restrictive one,

    be well

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  14. I am in favor of allowing parents to bring there children into a Legion or any Social Club. They were set up with the Service Men/Women so they had something in their local community. I am a member and know they are well run, very little swearing or uncouth language, no fighting or abusive actions since every member curtails it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with allowing the Children it is very close to home.

    Liquor in grocery stores very much in favor it is a product and needs no special area we have clothing, pharmacy’s etc in the stores why is it any different.

    I thought we were passed the days of having to complete a form to buy liquor treat it as a normal product and not something you have to binge with curtails all the problems.

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  15. My suggestions are:

    -that government liquor stores should be open longer hours and on Sundays
    -more cold beer/white wine/champagne/vodka at government stores
    -a simplified special occasion licence system
    -allow minors in pubs during the day
    -more BC craft beer
    -relax the rules around beer gardens at festivals
    -allow happy hours
    -standardize serving sizes for beer

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  16. I do not see the financial viability of Legions as a reason to allow children into licensed premises. The Legions have themselves to blame for their failure, and it’s not up to the rest of us to change social norms to keep them in business. The same applies to any failing bar or restaurant. I’d like to hear some ideas about enforcement under the proposed changes – the hospitality “industry” seems to have a very busy lobby in Victoria, to the extent that it may affect enforcement now. What will happen if these changes go ahead? (I am referring to things like over capacity, over serving and open liquor leaving premises in Whistler, for example.)

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  17. There have been many a time that I wish that I could have taken my 16 year old daughter into a venue which is currently 19+ to see a local band or touring indie band. Venues such as Electric Owl, The Venue and Fortune Sound Club to name a few … I think it would be GREAT to have the ability to bring my -19 child, accompanied, into these clubs. Maybe 14+ with 25+ adult supervision? My daughter is a big music fan and since she was 13, has been frustrated that she couldn’t support the bands that are up and coming and play at these smaller clubs. She still has 3 years until she reaches the 19+ benchmark – lets see if Vancouver can open some doors for the younger crowd who are into music other than Justin Bieber or Kanye!!

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  18. I do support having a drinking age but I don’t support the practice of not one drop to drink until one turns of age.

    I believe that while one’s a teen I believe they should be able to for example have a glass of wine with dinner on special occasions as long as their parent or legal guardian permits it.

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  19. It is clear there are many user groups that will petition the government for change, that will benefit their aspect of the liquor business. Changes must reflect what many of us have experienced in our travels around the world, from buying our spirits in grocery and convenience stores, allowing children to enter drinking establishments with some restrictions, such as until 6PM, and a wholesale review of tax policies on alcohol. What must be demonstrated in the end is that this is the 21st century, citizens are able to think for themselves, and can make their own lifestyle choices. The heavy handed and archaic rules of the past did not stop people from drinking, and in some cases spurred a great bootlegging industry. Time to think ahead.

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  20. When we travel in the states we find wine and beer in grocery stores, convenient and inexpensive. The prices we pay here are criminal compared to other jurisdictions the old saw “we have free medical” can’t justify 170% markups any more as we pay for our medical coverage every month and it keeps going up when the quality and wait times get worse. Having so many restrictions on liquor consumption creates problems…Take Europeans for example, alcohol is just a part of the day..Wine with dinner etc.. Not somewhere you have to travel to to consume. More small neighbourhood pubs and beer and wine in grocery stores will go a long way to maturing BC with it’s attitude towards alcohol.

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  21. Lower the drinking age to 18 in BC please. Sell liquor in major grocery stores for convenience to busy customers. BC Liquor store employees get paid quite a bit, and maybe the cost of liquor could be lowered if it was sold at Save-On/Safeway/Costco/Walmart. Convenience + lower prices = happy customers. No drinking in public please – living in Kelowna we have enough trouble with that in the summer as it is!!!!!!!

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    • I don’t think that new employees at Bc liquor stores get paid as well as they used to. That being said, one needs a living wage.

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  22. BC is behind the times! We need convient & cold access to beer and wine. I hate hate shopping private stores but honestly I have to drive out of my way to find a public store??? how does this make sense. This does not make sense. Why are there more private stores selling cold beer and wine in very convient locations. A public store is now one of a few. Its very sad! Lets make a change! A change for the better. A change for the future. NO ONE WANTS TO DRINK WARM BEER!

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  23. Dear Mr.Yap,

    As a minor in British Columbia I believe that relaxing BC’s liquors laws in some areas will produce net benefits for society and tightening the laws in other respects will help combat societal problems. Firstly on the legal drinking age, I believe that the age currently when liquor consumption is legal is much too high and as a result youth who illegally consume alcohol are more susceptible to the risks with excess alcohol consumption. For example in the United States where the drinking age is 21 the rate of alcohol related deaths is far higher than it is Canada. This is definitive proof that at the drinking age is causally linked to binge drinking among youth. Liquor for youth is rare and illegal to consume however instead of acting as a deterrent to alcohol consumption it instead drives it to private homes where lack of education and lack of regulation can lead to a tragedy.
    Access to alcohol is also an area of our liquor laws that can and should be relaxed. We should allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores and in addition end the moratorium on new liquor licenses. Such measures to arbitrarily restrict where alcohol can be sold are draconian and do not reduce the harms associated with alcohol, but rather unnecessarily make it more difficult to find. These measures therefore exclude the potential profits and boosts to our economy that could come with greater access to alcohol. However the primary goal on any liquor law should be to maximize public safety. The best way to ensure this is to adopt a zero tolerance policy for drunk drivers (and therefore accept only a BAC of 0.00) as well as ¬ increase education about alcohol to minors as early as high school (an oft neglected area of education since drinking at that age is illegal). It may even be an interesting idea to restrict alcohol to those who abuse it. Perhaps a special alcohol id that would determine how much and what kind of alcohol someone could buy given their history of alcohol abuse and alcohol related offences.

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  24. Dear Mr. Yap,

    As president of Br. 239 Pender Island, I wish to add my endorsement of the suggested changes to the current liquor laws regarding children being able to attend special events at Royal Canadian Legion’s. This would be of great assistance in maintaining the viability of Legions such as ours. Pender Island is a very family oriented community and the ability to include the whole family in some of our events would not only help us to survive but provide a valuable service to the families we strive to assist in so many ways. Without your assistance on this issue a lot of Legions will find it a tough battle to continue with the charitable work that adds so much to so many communities. Thank you for listening and hopefully the Legions of Canada will be assisted with the passing of this legislation.

    Yours truly,

    John Pender
    President Br. 239

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  25. I work in a liquor store in a rural area, close to the AB border. We do not have a private store, only off-sales at a local bar. Albertans like our BC liquor stores not only because of consistent pricing but because the prices are lower in BC than AB. Privatizing BC Liquor Stores will only increase prices for BC consumers. I have had customers yell at me because they missed the store hours and had to purchase off-sales. In the gov store they would have paid $10 for a 6-pack of coolers instead they paid off-sales of $21 for a 4 pack. Privatization is not the answer.

    The BC Gov could do better by allowing public stores access to all products as currently I cannot get everything my customers ask for (bad customer service). This should be followed through to Special Occasion Licensee who can only get products from BC Liquor Stores and may not be able to get the products they like as they are only available to private stores.

    Longer hours and Sunday openings are also somethings that are requested constantly as tourism is one of our biggest industries and I can’t meet the needs of our customers if the doors are closed.

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    • I agree with Gary. I don’t think the price can be well controlled in the new salling model. In addition, without the income that currently BC liquor stores contribute to BC government each year, how BC government reaches the target of ballancing the budget soon, by increase tax?

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  26. I would like to see lower prices on alcohol, and alcohol sold in grocery and convenience stores. The price for alcohol in BC is quite high compared to some provinces in the east, not to mention our neighbour to the south.

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    • When you’re seeing a $50 bottle of Rum here go for $8.99 in the U.S., it’s hard not to get fairly angry.

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  27. Im considering moving to america purely based on these terrible liquor laws.

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    • Bit of a strong action just for liquor but the prices here are criminal by comparison…

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  28. Please make everything cheaper, people on a part time or close to minimum wage really don’t want to spend more than a couple hours of their pay check just for a little fun on the weekends! Maybe it’s unfair because i’m comparing prices to across the border and Quebec, but even if we had less taxes on local products and they were more easily available everyone would win.

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  29. The current BC liquor sales model provides needed revenue, enforcement, and oversight. I am in favour of keeping the system as it is.

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  30. I would be happy with liquor being sold by stores such as Costco, Safeway, Save-on foods, and Walmart; however, All of the stores that are not owned by the provincial government should have a portion of their ‘profits’ of each liquor sale go towards BC medical or rehabilitation programs (for all addictions) in our province. With that said, I believe the same formula should be applied to all sales of addictive substances (like cigarettes) too.

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    • Hear, hear. Any addictive substance should require a hefty tax (50% of the substance cost) to help those who get trapped into addiction, and also to help those affected by the actions of addicts. If you’re going to sell it everywhere, like cigarettes are, expect way more alcoholics in a short time. So maybe make that medical/rehab tax even more than 50% of the cost of the product.

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  31. There should be a more open ability for U-Brews to keep lists of people who are willing to share/co-op their wine/beer with other purchasing customers who would prefer to have, for example, 6 bottles of 5 different types of wine instead of having to brew and keep 30 bottles of the same wine.

    The same amount of wine would still be brewed and purchased – The U-brew owner is only involved by supplying a list of interested customers to swap bottles with each other. The only difference is you’re not getting bored with 30 bottles of the same wine. As laws are today, it is illegal for the U-brew or their customers to do this.

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  32. Regarding the consuming of a beer or two in a changing/dressing room after playing a game of hockey/rugby/soccer/whatever/etc.

    A dressing room is basically a privately rented room for use by a sports team. Historically team members have privately and quietly had a beer or two after participating in their sport. This has happened since anyone can remember. This is not an issue of selling beer, or having a party, or getting drunk. It is a question of ‘having a beer, or two’ after a game. Recently various jurisdictions have been going overboard regarding this issue. I strongly recommend altering the law to recognize that consumption of a beer in a dressing room previously purchased and brought to that room by a participant, to be consumed by that participant, is permitted.

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    • The problem is keeping it reasonable. Which most people aren’t when they start drinking. If we went in this direction I believe we need to limit the allowance the two beers per person.

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  33. Regulate alcohol sales and consumption as we regulate sales and consumption of cigarettes. Apply age restrictions, but get rid of the Victorian regulations.

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  34. I find our private liquor stores pricing to be 10 to 20 % higher than BCLD stores which is the opposite of what was promised when they were allowed to open. I can only speak of wine price. I would like to see wine sold In grocery stores as it is done in Alberta , prices are half of our prices and more. Costco ,Sobeys and Safeway have delightful wine stores . I would save fuel and time if it were copied here. Also if a group of friends wanted to share a case of good Bordeaux for instance , why couldn’t they have it through to mail from where ever it is offered for sale , Sam’s in the USA or Ontario if they had it there ? I avoid BC’s private liquor store due to pricing .

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  35. Congratulations on using the internet to allow us to have a voice, and to comment in a directed fashion on the issues concerning us. This is FAR more practical than a booklet sent out to every home to be ignored, or left for ANOTHER DAY.

    However, it would be very helpful in your campaign to have some ads on Facebook or other social media which would allow for feedback. (Hmm. THat said, how would you stop teens from writing in as adults?)

    Well, I congratulate you and your staff for a forward thinking plan.

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  36. The Unique Role of Small Town Establishments
    I ran a restaurant in a small community for many years and the current liquor laws do not take into account the unique role of these establishments in small communities. We are the main social hub in many cases and the liquor laws were, and are, constantly standing in the way of us being able to serve our communities.
    Being food primary it makes it very hard to hold all the types of social events that small town venues are asked to host and be able to sell people more than tea or coffee if they don’t eat. For example, musical events, poetry evenings, local comedy nights, community meetings. ( I would like to mention that most of these events are not money makers for small town restaurants and cafes but more a community service)

    My sister and I often lamented that we were not able to have a restaurant license during the day and a liquor primary at night after 7 PM. Although this would not really have solved the problem since families would not be able to bring their kids along for events, and we would not be able to host for events for the youth in our community.

    Ninety nine percent of people that we serve just want to have a social drink and enjoy themselves. Why are we making laws for the lowest common denominator?
    The current liquor laws do not take into account the unique needs of small town restaurant and cafe.

    I would add the same request in reverse for our local Legion where again they are restricted by their liquor laws so that children can not come to community events that we could be holding there. I know that these laws are contributing to the slow demise of our local legion.

    I could go on…. but,

    I look forward to change.

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  37. I’d like to bring up a topic which does appear to be approached. LDB purchasing practises and procedures. Although I’ve only discovered their current practices by what I’ve seen in newspaper articles, and other online allegations from certain groups. It is apparently believed that, even though BC is the 3rd largest purchasing group of alcohol in the world, yet the LDB does not haggle for lower prices when purchasing large volumes. Add more insult to injury, it’s been allegated that the LDB will deliberately pay more, if the price of the product is, what they consider, too low. One of those articles can be read here;

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-money/cash-flow/four-steps-for-bc-to-take-to-improve-liquor-sales/article14492665/

    It’s a good read, as is goes into detail on the purchasing practices. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but can you imagine the money we’ve lost due to this current way of doing business? Speaking of business, this is probably the best example of why governments shouldn’t be in business. One of the explanations the LDB apparently uses is; we need to keep the price in line, or high, to deter potential over consumption. I’m not too sure what the cost price has to do with the selling price, but one would think, buy low sell high = bigger profits = more back into public hands in the way of healthcare, social programs, etc. Maybe I’m missing something, because this appears totally asinine.

    The following is a couple of excerpts from the BCGEU Stakeholder Report;

    “The implementation of the following recommendations would represent positive steps toward modernizing B.C.’s liquor laws:

    1. Take advantage of the strengths of the LDB and maintain or enhance public control of the management, distribution and sale of alcohol. There is good evidence that a publicly managed system of liquor distribution and sales is the best model for balancing the needs of consumers with public health and safety objectives. We recommend:

    The LDB remain as the sole agency tasked with importing and distributing alcoholic beverages in B.C., and operating the BC Liquor Stores retail chain.”

    Not sure where their “proof” of “best model” is, but obviously they’re only concerned with what is important to them, and not in the best interest of the people of BC.

    and,

    “4. Backlogs are Bad for Business: Provide Resources for Monitoring and Enforcement: Ensure the LCLB is adequately funded and staffed in order to carry out effective oversight and provide timely services for both businesses and the public”

    Adequately funded? Don’t they provided their own revenue?? Imagine all the extra staff they could have if they haggled for a better price?

    “Overall, we recommend maintaining and building on the current system, which protects the health safety of British Columbians while meeting consumers’
    needs.”

    Ya, they said that. Talk about living in the Dark Ages. The loss in revenue must be astronomical, by “maintaining” the current system. If anything needs to change in this review, I would put the purchasing practices of the LDB at the top of the list.

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    • I agree the practice of paying more and not trying to get the lowest price is ridiculous. With current detox and rehab centers drastically underfunded these extra dollars are greatly needed. My concern is that people want to switch solely to a private system which will present a host of new unknown problems instead of fixing the problems that already exist. I am tired of people saying government can’t deliver services competitively. They can if they want. However, they aren’t there just make a profit at the sacrifice of everything else. Taking societal costs into consideration is an important part of regulating the sales and price of liquor in BC. While I do get frustrated with catering to the lowest common denominator it is not jus a lowly one percent try more like 30-40. Check out a local AA meeting and you will see what the true impact of alcoholism is to our society. This is an addictive substance and as such needs to be treated differently from the way we sell cheese and bread.
      And for all of you out there who seem to think private sales do not increase harm try again. Recent Canadian studies have shown they lead to an increase in death. Do you really value the couple of extra dollars it costs for a bottle of booze over people’s lives?
      Timothy Stockwell, Director of the Centre for Alcohol
      Research of BC, and colleagues examined the effects of partial privatization of alcohol outlets in
      British Columbia. They found that alcohol sales increased more sharply in those areas of BC
      with the highest proportion of private alcohol outlets (Stockwell et al. 2009) and these areas also
      experienced elevated rates of alcohol-related mortality. Alcohol-related deaths increased
      significantly by 3.25% for each 20% increase in private store density (Stockwell et al. 2011).

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  38. We have to give thanks for all those who have and will continue to use this Policy review to again express Voice. From time to time even myself need to be reminded and reinforce the Success of which our LBD has achieved. For over 90 plus years our Children ,Seniors and Families Schools, Education system ,Hospitals and Heath care Highway ,Roads all Important Services including Corrections and Sherriff services have benefited from Profits and Revenue generated through a Publicly owned Retail Store And Warehouse System. But just as Important from then to now more Children more Seniors and Families will need Resources and Support and Training, this to include more Schools and Highways to build more Hospitals more Doctor’s and Nurse’s more Corrections and Sherriff services . The True Value of Success is knowing full well how far we have come within our Hamlet of BC but knowing even more that as Citizen’s of BC we strive to insure we do the upmost for All.

    Always :)

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    • Why do you assume the revenue cannot be retained with the implementation of a more cost efficient distribution chain?

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      • Why do you assume the government distribution process can’t be changed to be more efficient? They should use their bulk buying to get lower prices and pass the savings on to treatment of alcoholism which is deplorable in BC. The chronic underfunding of which should be an embarrassment to all BC residents. It isn’t a problem just relegated to east Van.
        Privatization leads to people dying is paying a few dollars more for a case of beer worth someone’s life?
        Timothy Stockwell, Director of the Centre for Alcohol
        Research of BC, and colleagues examined the effects of partial privatization of alcohol outlets in
        British Columbia. They found that alcohol sales increased more sharply in those areas of BC
        with the highest proportion of private alcohol outlets (Stockwell et al. 2009) and these areas also
        experienced elevated rates of alcohol-related mortality. Alcohol-related deaths increased
        significantly by 3.25% for each 20% increase in private store density (Stockwell et al. 2011).

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  39. I would like to add my full and wholehearted support to the proposal submitted to the BC Government’s Liquor Modernization Review by BC-Yukon Command of The Royal Canadian Legion asking that the Legion be allowed to have family members join with members at their branch functions.

    I am the son of a World War II veteran who served overseas for 5 years, and I have been an Associate member of a Legion Branch for over 30 years. I also work as the Executive Director of New Chelsea Society that is the 3rd largest non-profit housing society in the lower mainland of BC and registered charity founded in 1952 by veterans of the second world war in 5 Vancouver branches of the Legion to provide safe affordable housing for limited income veterans, seniors, families and persons with disabilities. Today we have over 2000 residents at 19 property locations in 5 lower mainland municipalities. Our Board of Directors is entirely made up of hard-working Legion members.

    The Legion serves the community in so many ways through its support of youth sports, and many charitable causes that assist citizens in need including veterans, seniors, families, children, and people with disabilities. The Legion is dedicated to serving Canadians, and is struggling to keep that legacy moving forward in to the future.

    I therefore want to add my solid support to the request that the Government relax the liquor license restrictions in the Legion branches, so our Legion members can be with their families and not be made to choose between time at their Legion and time with their loved ones.

    Thank you,
    Pat Buchannon
    Executive Director
    New Chelsea Society

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  40. Jon – I truly hope you are considering an overhaul of the liquor laws in BC, not simply some tweaks, but rather a complete overhauls. I have made at least a few points on this blog about the searingly arbitrary laws that we currently live with, that do not reflect the views of the BC majority. The laws need to be overhauled to achieve this and quite frankly should allow some flexibility at the distribution level for future changes. I understand this won’t happen overnight, but really the legislation absolutely needs to be completely modernized to reflect our current society. Personally I am impressed with the enforcement changes and drinking and driving laws (except the sentencing stuff after reading the “Families for Justice”, those examples are heart breaking).

    My request to you is that the laws be updated completely, not just some minor changes, but a complete re-write and modernization. This is the only way we will achieve a balanced law that allows law abiding citizens the freedoms they deserve and severely punishes those who chose to break it. Speak softly, but carry a large stick!

    I understand there is a lot of pressure to maintain the $600 million plus income that is generated from the BC Liquor Board. I challenge you to find more creative ways to generate the income and I believe that reducing the $300 million plus costs to generate that income is a great way to start. If you cannot get out of the LDB system (we really need to get out of this), I think you are at least responsible for making that whole system much more efficient (example volume discounts).

    I will finally make one more statement about the relationship between Canada and the USA in terms of goods and services controlled by inefficient distribution boards and government. I am a frequent cross border shopper and I absolutely appalled that I can buy Canadian products like Canadian made cheese, Canadian Meat, Canadian Beer, Canadian Liquor, and many other Canadian made products CHEAPER in the USA than I can in Canada. This to me points to gouging practices in Canada at the source which is the distribution board. I can buy a 6 pack of USA craft beer for $6.99, pay the mark up at the border (about 55%) and still pay less than a 6 pack of Canadian craft beer (generally about $14.00).

    Here is a great example for a 6 pack of Molson Ice:

    BC Liquor Store -$9.49 http://www.bcliquorstores.com/product/917013
    BevMo Bellingham – $5.96 for (free) club members, $6.99 for non members http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx/Beer/Imported-Beers/Molson-Breweries-of-Canada/Molson-Ice/_/R-166-2676

    Here is another example on Liquor “Masterson’s – 10 Year Old Straight Canadian Rye” winner of Best Whiskey in Canada

    BC Liquor Store $130.72 http://www.bcliquorstores.com/product/221499
    BevMo Bellingham – was selling for $69.99 (no wonder they sold out) http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx/Spirits/Bourbon/Masterson-s/Mastersons-10yr-Straight-Rye/_/R-166-36211

    These are a few examples of the absurdity of the mark up we pay on Canadian products that are sold for much cheaper in the USA.

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    • Well said, I’d like to second your points.

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  41. I am supporting less taxation on all our alcohol to be more in line with the United States so we are not paying exorbitant prices and this is not used as another tax grab for our government. Quote from our BC Wine Law newsletter “It may surprise you to hear that the real tax rate on imported wine in BC is much, much higher. It varies with the price of the bottle but, for example, if you go into a BC liquor store and buy a bottle of $14 California wine, the real cost of selling that bottle to you is about $6.45 (including LDB operating costs). The remaining $7.55 goes to both levels of government with the vast bulk going to the BC government. If you express the part that goes to BC as a percentage of the actual cost of selling the wine, then the “real” BC sales tax rate is about 111%.

    You can calculate things another way which is a bit more favorable to BC by adding in a normal profit margin to the wholesale cost of the wine: in most other North American jurisdictions, a fair retail price for that same wine should be about $7.20. At a price of $14, the real combined tax rate is about 94% with the BC sales tax approaching 90%.

    Happy hours (we must be the only first world country to not be offering this), beer and wine in our grocery/corner stores, (Europe, the US and Australasia do), allowing inter-provincial sales, being able to take minors into drinking establishments to eat with their parents ( as do they all over Europe, the US and Australasia), lowering the corkage fees to a reasonable fee per bottle, not $20-$30.00 per bottle of wine some BC restaurants are charging patrons that bring their own so they can drink what they choose without paying the astronomically marked up restaurant prices with limited choices (Europe, the US and Australasia have been doing this for well over twenty years), drinking in public and at events and target the troublesome individuals not the responsible individuals that want to have a picnic at a beach or park and enjoy a glass (plastic) of wine with their dinner. STOP the government from running businesses that should be privately run.

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  42. I’d like to bring attention to the Minors as Agents Program, and my opinion there of. I’m not a private LRS owner, but I did manage one at one time.

    It’s quite obvious from many of the stakeholder reports that their personal interest takes precedence over what the public would like. Can’t blame them really, but it’s time to put the public’s interest first, over profits and guaranteed employment of some. In particular, the BCGEU or GLS employees. Well, not so much them as their upper management/hierarchy and the union bosses themselves. It should also be noted that in the BCGEU report, they are quick to jump on the point that they refuse service to under aged drinkers better than the private sector, quote

    “BC Liquor Stores are consistently better at refusing to sell alcohol to minors. The most recent report from the LCLB showed that staff at BC Liquor Stores checked ID and did not sell to a minor 92% of the time. In contrast, the compliance rate at private liquor stores was just 72%”

    They fail to mention, or simply leave out the numbers. Truth be told, a total of 7 GLS sold liquor to a minor under the Minors as Agents Program, out of 85 inspections. This was a drop in the previous years program where only 4 GLS out 95 inspections (96% success) sold liquor to a minor. I look at it from another view. Private LRS had 326 inspections, whereas 90 failed. That’s 236 private LRS that did a better job than 7 GLS. In addition, the BCGEU consistently boasts about their advance training and commitment to ensuring minors are not served alcohol, yet their success rate is failing. As far as I’m concerned, with all the training, prominent wages, and really it’s the GLS primary focus, there should never be an occurrence of one of their staff making such a serious breach of policy.

    The report can be view here; http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/AnnualReport-MinorsAsAgents2012-2013.pdf

    To make matters worse, the punishment is the same for a GLS as for a private LRS, a $7500 fine. That’s utterly laughable. So basically the taxpayer is out of pocket on this one. One would think that, in both scenarios, at the very least the employee serving the minor would be fined $575.00 in accordance with the LCLA. Why is just the establishment fined? Could it be that the BCGEU didn’t want to have any of their employees having to pay a fine, and knew that they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if just regulating it to private LRS employees? Makes one wonder.

    In addition, the whole Minors as Agents program was solely a punishment & revenue gaining venture. In the initial year, 10/11, at a hospitality conference a question was posed to Karen Ayers, Assistant Deputy Minister and General Manager of the LCLB. “Could you advise private store owners if their store was inspected and when? To which she replied, we don’t have the time to inform the store owners if they passed an inspection. Seriously, this would have been an excellent employee appreciation building opportunity, but the LCLB was too busy, or simply did not see the value of the positive benefits of the program?

    What was the overall cost of the Minors as Agents Program? When considering where the majority of under aged drinkers get their alcohol, was this the best use of funds? Lets face it, for as long as there’s been under aged drinking, kids have simply used their of age friends to purchase alcohol for them. That’s where the efforts should be focused and ensuring under age drinkers are also held more accountable. If the BC government is so adamant about restricting and or enforcing under age drinking, then why not put their efforts towards the real problem, under aged drinkers and their of aged friends obtaining it for them. Simple solutions, such as an occasional blitz ad campaign on prime time TV of shows that age group is known to watch, full page ads in local news papers, and best yet, facebook ads. The ads should emphasis the fine amounts to those providing the alcohol and the consequences to those caught trying to obtain. Fining under aged drinkers is not the answer. There should be a mandatory course of some sort, or maybe go so far as incarcerated on weekends. More effort needs to made in the area of the perpetrator rather than focusing on sales outlets. I’m sure the cost would be similar.

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  43. The lose of another 3800 jobs in BC with further hurt the people of BC, no income to support other BC businesses ect, the ball will roll down hill. Maybe our government could take another look at the taxation methods to bring pricing more equal to the other provinces. Maybe the people of BC should demand roll backs and pay freezes at the political level! I think the Government store employees do a get job selling liquor in a responsible way.

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  44. I like the present system of both Private and Gov’t liquor stores. Without the revenue from the liquor stores the Gov’t would have to increase the taxes on more than just liquor to make up the difference in revenue.

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    • Why? The gov’t would save their retail costs. Anyway there are already five times more private outlets than gov’t stores.

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  45. It is ridiculous that I can buy a bottle of wine in Alberta for $38 which here in BC , the Government thinks is okay to sell for $70. How is this even legal? With the Federal government repealing laws which prohibit the movement of liquor between the provinces, what is to stop us from now ordering our wine directly from Alberta? BC liquor stores are ours, we do not have to put up with bloated government dinosaur – please lets all stand up together and fight for the end of the BC governments control of our liquor.

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  46. I liked the present system of both Private & Gov’t liquor stores . I loved that the Gov’t stores’ profit stays in the province to help out its citizens. In terms of Health , Welfare & Education as well as many other necessity.

    The Gov’t stores is ” the goose that lay the Golden eggs”, I hope the present Gov’t doesn’t sell it, and robbed its citizens of a steady revenues regardless of the world economy. The Gov’t stores generates revenue in both Good and Bad times.

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    • The gov’t stores have costs. If they kept the revenue from taxes and saved the costs of retail sales they would get to keep the golden eggs without having to feed the goose.

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      • Lol…from what I understand B.C. Liquor stores give 1.2 billion to the government right now…that is after payroll and expenses…from what I understand there bottom line is better than Costco or Walmart…its hard to beat that

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    • Have a look at this link below, sure the BCLC employees are usually friendly (so are the private liquor stores by the way). However, the “it costs the provincial government $300-million to raise $900-million in revenue from liquor sales.”

      That 600 million comes out of our pockets. Surely a flat tax on alcohol sales could generate a lot more income if you support the taxation income model.

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-money/cash-flow/should-the-bc-government-get-out-of-liquor-retailing/article14198026/

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      • Not to mention, the majority of that $900 million is from the sales by private liquor (40%) stores, bars/pubs and restaurants, not government liquor stores.

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    • Private liquor Stores collect and remit to the Government the same taxes that Government liquor stores collect. You talked about bloated Government, the Government liquor stores hire twice as many staff that is required and pay large wages and benefits to their staff that have the same “serving it right” certificate in order to serve alcohol. This is your tax dollar.
      If you allow big stores, for example, WalMart and Costco to sell alcohol, those profits will go to the U.S. and not to our health, welfare and education programs.

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  47. I like the Present situation, There is nothing wrong with the present system, we just need a couple of minors fixes. The Rules & Laws just needs to be updates. You have both Govt & Private liquor stores in operations. Govt reinvested its Profits , in Healths & Welfares, but most importantly , Educations for its youth. The Profit gets invest in its citizens in many ways.

    Anyone thinking of operating a business ,as well as attracting international investments needs a well educate work force , so that there is less misunderstanding in the operation of the business , a healthy work forces with a easy access to health services , so that worker can recover and be at work, sooner,and roads to get its products to the consumers quickly.

    The Govt liquors store is, “the goose who lay the Golden Egg”, why would the Govt Give it Away? And robbed its citizen of a steady income , it can depend thru both Good & Bad economies.

    The Govt Liquorstores employed the citizen of BC , as citizen I have a sense of pride of ownership, knowing that this business help the government run its daily business

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  48. The sale of liquor in this province brings a lot of much needed revenue to our gov’t coffers.
    I support the gov’t stores because they are directly funding critical services provided by the gov’t. Staff are quite knowledgeable and also trained in emergency response. A liveable wage is also important to me as community members raise their young.

    Alcohol is a drug and from many accounts we are not handling this drug particularly well.
    I would not like to see beer and wine in grocery stores or sold 24 hrs. a day. I believe it would endanger many who would be the sellers.

    What I would like to see is refrigeration in stores and extended store hours. I would also like to see all the products available to all stores (should the store decide to list them) both private and public. Finally, the nightmarish Special Occasion License needs to be completely revamped.

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    • It is a myth that if government got out of retailing they would lose the funds for services. In fact it would save the costs of retailing. Elsewhere here it says of the $900,000,000 in LCB sales $3000,000,000 is lost to costs.

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  49. My suggestions:

    1) Allow Happy hours. Everywhere else in Canada allows Happy Hours. It’s time to join the club.

    2) Allow drinking in more public areas. If people want to head to the lake or the beach and enjoy a drink or two it should be legal!

    3) If the restrictions on public drinking are relaxed, recognize that there are people who would rather not have their children (or themselves) around people who are drinking and make sure that there are “dry” areas they can enjoy (we already do this in private settings such as the no-alcohol sections at sports venues).

    4) In establishments that serve a lot of alcohol (bars, clubs, whatever) find a method that easily allows people to more objectively monitor their intoxication level. The most common instance of drinking and driving I’ve witnessed are people at the pub with friends who have a few beers over a couple hours and then decide they’re fine to drive after doing some terrible “guestimations”. The police have a method to measure intoxication so why not make it available to people BEFORE they drive. It eliminates the guess work.

    Perhaps the expense make this infeasible or something, I don’t know, but it seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s not often I hear of people getting DUIs for blowing an 0.24% or something, it’s usually 0.06–0.1% where they guessed wrong and hit a road block. These situations seem avoidable with some better information up front to inform the decision making process.

    5) Simplify liquor license process.

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  50. I think it is high time for such a review, but I am very disappointed that it is being carried out so badly. First the good: As the president of a community Hall that has licensed events with liquor from time to time, I was invited to a meeting for input. That was a great thing to do. Then the bad: Some of the speakers there were woefully ignorant of the procedure they were supposed to be explaining. No one there knew the address of this website. The liquor inspector didn’t seem to understand how the website worked–thinking that the blog and submissions were separate things. He thought the deadline for comments was November 25th. He told us that minors could not be present at any SOL licensed event, and that disagrees with what it says on your website. Many of the people who had been invited spoke of getting one answer from the police, another from the liquor board and a third from the liquor store on buying liquor, returning it . And, come on, pour out unused liquor! Why not just say that you can keep partial bottles of unused liquor until your next event? You know people aren’t pouring it out.

    However, my main concern in dealing with Special Occasion licenses is that I want the rules to be simplified, and for there to be a huge education push (advertising on TV and radio, pamphlets, website information that is easy to read, workshops and contacts to email or call that can give information) to explain to people what the new rules are when they are produced.

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    • Or get rid of the special occasion rules except for a permit and a tax submission form.

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  51. A few good reasons to support the 195 government run liquor stores and extend their hours, and service.
    Hmm… public vs. private, when I buy a bottle from my local government liquor store, I am contributing to the employment of workers receiving a wage they can actually live off of, rather than be a likely candidate for low income housing and trips to the food bank. I choose to support liquor profit staying in my province, and employees who make a decent wage and can contribute to the local economy in my community. The government often stating they don’t have enough money for education, healthcare etc…, so why not expand the liquor distribution branch (one of the only profitable branches of government) and actually make an effort to make money. Add refrigeration to its stores, and obvious conveniences like tobacco products and snack foods. As far as the hours and days of operation, come on, its 2012! Not 1950! Let’s get with the times! Almost every other retail business is open on Sundays. Some government liquor stores are already open on Sundays. Some people say there would be more alcohol related problems with extended hours and Sunday openings, but there are already over 600 private stores open on Sundays and till 11pm most nights where people can already go to get their liquor. Instead of people complaining that government workers make too high of a wage, they should start complaining about how little others make. Can anyone have a decent standard of living, afford nutritious groceries, provide opportunities for their children, or even just independently support themselves without the food bank, low income housing, or welfare, when earning only minimum wage???

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    • Sheri, if government selling booze has all these social benefits imagine what government selling groceries or cars could do for society.

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  52. As a consumer, I recommend the public liquor stores, because of their service (especially helping select products), selection, and lower consistent pricing. No flashy loss leader come ons! As a taxpayer, I support the public liquor stores, because the revenue goes to public health care, schools, and all the services in my community. As a community member, I also support the public liquor stores for safety. I don’t want kids, and intoxicated people to have easy access to liquor. I do think there can be some improvements. Expand store hours and allow opening on Sunday. Allow cold beer & wine to be sold at the public liquor stores. For those areas lacking a public liquor store then open a new store.

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  53. I would like to see a healthy competitive market therefore:
    1.) Allow competition in the wholesale space, removing the monopoly held by the BCLDB.
    2.) Remove pricing advantages held by the BCLDB retail arm. Allowing for price competition between suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.
    3.) Substantially simplify retail: allow sales in all places now allowed to sell tobacco.
    4.) Reform consumption laws to allow for public place consumption (the power to embargo consumption should be a municipal choice with the default law position being: public consumption allowed.
    5.) Reform pub licensing to allow for kids before 8pm similar to UK and EU.
    6.) Make event licences much easier to obtain and much more relaxed.
    7.) Stop treating adults like a bunch of children.
    8.) Look to Europe and other jurisdictions for inspiration in our quest to make our laws less puritanical and more appropriate for this century.

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  54. I am amazed by the concerted strategy of the Royal Canadian Legions to get property tax exemptions and changes to allow children in their liquor establishments. It seems that they want to be able to skirt the rules by which other liquor establishments have to abide.

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    • As they are a not for profit organization, and they money collected helps support those who served, they should be allowed to “skirt the rules”. I am not a veteran nor a member of the RCL, but I have a lot of respect for what they do, and the support they give to our vets. If changing the rules so that they can allow children into the legion pub will help those who made sacrifices for our country, then I am all for it.

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  55. The trend today is all about family. Parents rarely go out without their children. As an active member of RCL Valemount #266, I support positive changes to our Liquor Laws that would allow children in our club – especially on Friday evenings when we have our Burger nights. Because of current regulations, our young families, many of whom are members, are unable to attend as a family.

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  56. I am a Past President of the Legion BC/Yukon Command, current President of BCSLA, and a board member for Legion Manner in Victoria and the Elder Care Foundation of Greater Victoria.

    Senior’s housing has always been a big priority for Legions and our organization runs over 4500 assisted living and senior’s units in BC. Legion branches have over 30 new developments planned across the province, but those blueprints remain on the drawing board, because branches don’t have the resources to manage the projects. Our organization is run by volunteers and those projects are a labour of love for the branches to serve their communities.

    If we could have families in Legions, we could recruit more excellent volunteers and have stable revenues to support our housing units. I don’t think people realize that liquor licensing is so integral in our ability to plan our future. Please let Legions make our future better by allowing us to become family gathering places.

    Dave Sinclair

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  57. I am pleased to submit the enclosed letter in response to your request for input into the review of BC’s liquor laws and the corresponding recommendations with respect to modernization of liquor legislation.

    Canada’s Temperance Foundation (CTF) is a new charitable organization headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia. CTF officially launched on June 15, 2012. The mission of CTF is to educate Canadian citizens on the benefits of temperance, defined as habitual moderation or restraint in the use of alcohol and drugs. CTF will accomplish its mission of temperance through community outreach programs, media campaigns, and strategic alliances with other individuals, groups, and organizations.

    There is a misconception surrounding the individual, economic, and social benefits of alcohol use in our Country and our province. In spite of the belief that alcohol consumption creates revenue, alcohol use comes with significant individual, social, and economic costs. In 2002 in British Columbia it was estimated that health and legal costs exceeded government revenue for alcohol sales by $61 million indicating that the BC Provincial Government does not profit by the sale of alcohol. Further, it is estimated that the total economic burden of alcohol harm in Canada is $14.6 billion. This includes healthcare costs, legal enforcement costs, and estimated loss of productivity. Many of the health care costs are as attributed to health problems, mental and physical illness, accidents, personal injuries, motor vehicle crashes, and fatalities associated with alcohol consumption. In 2009, it was estimated that over 2500 individuals were killed in motor vehicle crashes, with at least 60% of those related to impaired driving.

    The misuse of alcohol is also strongly associated with crime and violence. A 2002 study of federal inmates showed that 80% of crimes were linked to alcohol and or illicit drugs. Recent studies by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC at the University of Victoria showed that increased in alcohol access lead to elevated rates of both violent and amenity crimes in BC between 2002 and 2012.

    Furthermore, the consequences of alcohol consumption described above can lead to secondary consequences such as family breakdown, financial problems, emotional pain and suffering, and hardship.

    The misuse of alcohol is among the largest social problems in Canada and in B.C. It is estimate that approximately 10% of Canadians report symptoms consistent with a substance use disorder; however 80% of Canadians are considered to be light and moderate users of alcohol. Research indicates that most of the social harms associated with alcohol use can be attributed to the light and moderate users of alcohol, illustrating this is a problem of epidemic proportions in our country and in our province.

    Because the consumption of alcohol is legal and is normatively entrenched in our society, many individuals may not classify alcohol as a drug. The reality is that alcohol is a drug and a dangerous one that can significantly impact physical and mental health. Further, alcohol can be a gateway drug that leads to the experimentation and use of other drugs. The government must acknowledge that alcohol is a dangerous drug and that its pervasive use throughout the province is an individual, social, and economic burden.

    There is a general lack of awareness and acknowledgement as to the dangers of alcohol use and misuse and general misconceptions regarding the need for alcohol to relax and to have fun. These misconceptions and the culturally normative use of alcohol have been reinforced by the legalization of alcohol, the proliferation of alcohol retailers, and by the extensive marketing of the alcohol manufacturers and retailers.

    It is the position of CTF that temperance, defined as habitual moderation of restraint in the use of alcohol and drugs, is the solution to this huge social harm. While we recognize that some research indicates that alcohol may have cardiovascular benefits for some people, only very small quantities of alcohol produce any health benefits for a small proportion of the population.
    Temperance through out the province can maximize our quality of life as individuals, families, and as a province by promoting health, safety, happiness, and prosperity. Societal benefits of temperance will include a richer and more prosperous province socially and economically through improved physical and mental health among our citizens and a safer province through reduction in crime stemming from the misuse of alcohol.

    British Columbia needs an alcohol specific provincial strategy. Extensive international and national research has pointed to alcohol specific policies as being central to controlling and reducing the harm from alcohol use and it’s associated cost to society. The solution to this problem will require a collaborative effort among key stakeholders including government, nongovernmental organizations, public health advocates, communities, and representatives from the private sector.

    CTF is dedicated to taking a leadership role in the province of BC to educate our citizens on the negative ramifications and dangers of alcohol and other drugs use and on the corresponding individual and social benefits of temperance. We strongly believe risks and harms associated with alcohol have a significant negative impact on all citizens and these risks and harms can be prevented and reduced. New and more restrictive government legislation by the British Columbia Government is required in order to assist in alleviating the substantial individual, social, and economic problem of alcohol use.

    Yours respectfully,

    Mr. Miles Craig,
    Founder and CEO
    Canada’s Temperance Foundation (CTF)

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    • Perhaps all you have written is true. It just is not mainstream. Temperance groups have been active in Canada since the early 1800′s. The masses, generation after generation have rejected the concept. Judging from the majority of comments submitted over the past few weeks, the masses believe the current model of government control is too much.

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    • “While we recognize that some research indicates that alcohol may have cardiovascular benefits for some people, only very small quantities of alcohol produce any health benefits for a small proportion of the population.”

      This is completely untrue and you are trying to downplay this aspect. Frankly, your position is so biased it really doesn’t contribute anything of value to the discussion.

      Here is a link which includes 188 citations to articles/studies about health benefits of moderate beverage alcohol use.
      http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/AlcoholAndHealth.html#.UlMFSCSkrCc

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  58. Legions are an entegral part of communities and no more so than in small communities. Legion branch 274 is just such a Legion. We are all about families, community and giving. We want to continue to offer support through charity and Volunteerism. This could be achieved with changes to the Liquor laws allowing us to be with our young families. Please consider changes that will allow us to continue with providing support to Veterns, seniors, and families. Let us be with OUR families as we provide these services. Thank you. allison B

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  59. I have a friend that is soon opening an establishment where patrons can play boardgames and socialize. This will be the only establishment of this type in my city. But he failed to procure a liquor license because apparently all of the liquor licenses of that particular type are in use in the area. This is the first I had heard of there being a finite quantity of such licenses and that if they are all in use, too bad for you.
    I struggle to interpret the reasoning behind this policy. As if, were it a licensing free-for-all, we would have a ridiculous number of bars in the area and would fall to ruin, become a city of debauchery and depravity and local law would crumble. No.
    a) An excess of establishments with said licensing would not last in the city. It’s extremely competitive, rent is ridiculously high, etc. This issue would really solve itself in very short order.
    b) How do they manage it in the UK, for example? There is a pub on every other corner and yet I didn’t see any cars on fire when I visited.
    I’m sure the reasoning behind this law is very complicated, but why does it have to be?

    I feel that my friend’s business is more than a little hindered by not being allowed a license. (His establishments is approved for liquor licensing in every other regard — there are simply none left.) Many locals have a beverage or two when they play boardgames at home. Without being allowed to drink at the cafe, there is little or no impetus to leave home to play. The reason that I find this issue disturbing is that opening a small business in this city, particularly downtown, is an extremely difficult undertaking even without such a silly disadvantage. How are new businesses supposed to make a go of it and move the local economy when there are antiquated laws shooting them in the foot before they even make it out the gate?

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  60. I understand that the BC liquor board is a huge revenue generator for the government and that would be very difficult to give up. I know many have said it before me but how about legalizing marijuana and taxing that? Legalizing it makes it safer and it adds significant revenue for the government. Perhaps the BC liquor control board could change to the BC good times taxation board OR the BC make good times safer board OR the BC narcotics safety and taxation board OR…? Broaden the mandate to include tobacco, liquor, marijuana and other controlled substances so they can be enjoyed safely all while increasing and diversifying government revenue streams?

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  61. Mr. Yap,

    I hope you will review hours of sale. Currently, if I finish work at 11pm, and would like to have a drink, I have no option to purchase a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of beer to take home with me. My only option is to drink in a licensed bar. Not allowing individuals to purchase alcohol to be consumed at home likely results in increased incidents of drinking and driving as individuals transit from public drinking establishments to his/her home. I strongly encourage you to examine the hours of sale policies in Saskatchewan and Alberta which allow for purchase of alcohol to be consumed at home as long as it is available to purchase for consumption in an establishment.

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  62. Why is there no standard size of glass in this province? I am originally from the UK where you can buy beer in pint and half pint size glasses, this makes it much easier to know how much you have had to drink and also to compare pricing. Here in BC it seems that all pubs claim to serve pints but that can vary between 14oz and 20oz size glasses. Is it not about time to give the paying public an idea how much they are drinking and how much it is costing them?

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    • Beyond that, different bars will use different oz measures–US vs. imperial.

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    • We used to have standardized glasses. They even had plimsol lines to prevent under pouring. Until recently bars were not permitted to use a brand named glass. Like a Heineken glass for a Heineken. I guess the opposite to standardized glasses is let the bars pour the size they want and the consumer decide who to patronize.

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  63. There are public-health related arguments for maintaining a high minimum price for alcoholic products. Somehow that has translated into a tax based on a percentage of the price – this makes no sense. Higher-cost products are subject to the most tax, and become astronomically expensive, and low-cost products are subject to the least tax, and remain comparatively cheap. A minimum cost per drink formula could raise the lowest price of alcoholic beverages to discourage excessive consumption, while on the other hand enabling more people to appreciate products that are now mostly out of reach. Very few people are in a position to binge on large quantities of Osoyoos Larose or Foxtrot Pinot Noir. The sad thing is, with the present tax structure, very few people ever get to taste these amazing local products. With the appropriate formulation, a minimum cost per drink approach could even be revenue neutral.

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    • Kevin has the right idea! I will expand on this a little.
      The BC government can still attain the same level of revenue by taxing beverage alcohol with an excise or sumptuary tax based solely on alcoholic volume content of the beverage. Additionally there can be levied a sales tax, or better, a value added tax based on say 5% or 7% of the sales value.
      In doing this, the BC government should get out of the business of importation, distribution and sales of beverage alcohol. The government should still regulate the rules around hours and manner of sale which should be kept simple.
      Finally, the delivery channels, ie: type of retail outlet, should be greatly expanded to include grocery stores and internet retail sales including importation. Finally, most types of auctions should permissible including estate auctions. No tax should be assessed on this last type.
      The seriously antiquated current system needs to be modernized and made more efficient!

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  64. Greetings from Mission, BC!

    I am a Senior, and a Member of Legion Branch #57 here in Mission. We have an excellent friendly, peaceful group here, and it is as pleasure to meet together with friends over a meal or games activities.

    Though I do not drink alcoholic beverages myself, I would like to see the day when I can take my family to a meal at our local Legion Hall.

    For example, we have an excellent meal time and meat draws, etc. each Friday evening. Last Friday, we were to have a chicken supper. My wife and I wanted to treat my daughter and her husband, and our 8-year old grandson, and introduce them to our fellowship and friends—but with the ruling against minors being served in the Legion facilities, we could not bring them.

    So I hope you will look at this issue favourably in the near future, so that we as a family can enjoy the fellowship and meals at our Legion branch!

    Thank you,
    W. Allan MacLeod

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  65. Many of our formerly homeless veterans are currently housed and supported by Cockrell House in Colwood.
    Without the ongoing support of the BC/Yukon Command of the Legion this five year old project would not exist. Hopefully the updates to the liquor laws will assist the legion in surviving to carry on its’ critically important service to British Columbians.
    A. Stanfield
    Director
    SMVIZ Veterans Housing Society

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  66. There is a restaraunt and bar in downtown Vancouver, EXP, that specializes in a video game theme year round for their customers. The idea is great and the venue does well as an establishment for friends to gather in a public setting a enjoy their love of interactive entertaiment over food and drinks. The only thing missing, video games.

    BC liquor law restricts EXP from having a liquor license and allowing their customer from playing video games too for fear it could appeal to children. This is ridicluous. Currently you can buy liquor at almost any restaraunts and sporting events that are both inteded for families. This rules out the idea that they are children are not going to be exposed to liquor.

    Also if the reasoning behind it is to avoid children being exposed to liquor. Why are adults allowed to drink in the presence of minors – what family gathering doesn’t have at least one drunk relative around children. Why are liquor ads allowed to be displayed on TV or anywhere minors can see since their whole purpose is to get you do drink their product and most intentionally make the ads humourous or give the idea you will be cool to drink their product – just look and the Kokanee or Captain Morgan ads.

    If you switch to the general argument of gaming and liquor don’t mix, well that is just silly. Liquor is surved at many events that you will find various types of gambling and of course the big one, Casinos.

    The issue is that the general view of many people is that video games are for kids. While that was in fact true in the perhaps the 80s and 90s, the average age in 2012 of gamers was in fact 35! Gamers have gotten older. The industry has also grown to more than a 20 billion dollar industry! These fact are readily available online.

    This is an out dated an biased law with no effective purpose at this point. If you are going to restrict video games then you should be restricting all other situations, such as casinos, hockey games, restaraunts and ads or anything else that may expose kids to see liquor.

    Remember, laws are supposed to be based on fact and realism not fear and prejudice bias.

    Thanks for your time!

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    • Are casinos still restricted to liquor at the bar but not at the tables? If so, that rule needs to be tossed.

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  67. Thank Mr. Yap for allowing us to give feedback on this issue. As a member in a local branch of The Royal Canadian Legion we are all about families, community and giving – we want to bring them together at our branches!

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  68. I’m a craft beer fan and an avid growlers user. Often on a weekend night my family of four enjoy a growler of beer and some take out. This makes for two trips one to the brewery and the other to a takeout. The Pig BBQ joint, The Tartan Toque, My Little Thai, and The Noodle Box are takeout/restaurants that I frequent and sell craft beer (draft) but can’t let me take it off sight. Please consider allowing restaurants to fill growlers with beer with a take out order.

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    • Any licensed restaurant or bar should be permitted to fill growlers.

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  69. Thanks for allowing us to give feedback on this process. I commend Mr. Yap for taking the time out to respond to people’s comments.

    Here are my thoughts.

    1. Happy Hour. I agree with restaurants and pub/nightclubs to allow for happy hour. However I do believe that drink minimum prices should be set by the province to protect businesses and consumers.

    2. BYOB. Currently restaurants are allowed to charge a corkage for wine brought by patrons. In pubs it is not allowed. This makes no sense for a myriad of reasons. Why not allow both to do it? Most pubs have terrible wine lists and restaurants have extensive wine lists. It seems backwards that you can bring in a bottle into a place that has a huge selection already.

    3. Minors in Pubs. I don’t believe that restaurant licenses and pub licenses should be merged. However, I do believe that minors should be permitted into pubs under adult supervision until a certain time of day. There is absolutely no difference between Boston Pizza and a local pub during lunch and dinner hours. Late at night when things heat up… different story.

    4. Drinking on the beach and in public parks. Absolutely. People drink on the beach and in the park. Most do so responsibly already. Some don’t. That wouldn’t change. But why should we have to hide our beer at Slo-Pitch league or the wine we have with our picnic. This province is ready for it.

    I have been all over the world and I have enjoyed many beers, margaritas and cold beverages on the beach… in all those trips I can’t say that I have ever seen anyone intoxicated or causing trouble…

    Leave it up to municipalities to designate certain parks alcohol/alcohol free within city’s limits.

    Thanks!

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  70. Basically I believe the BC government should totally get out of the distribution and selling of alcohol in BC. The sale of liquor is way over regulated at it is only in the interest of the bureaucrats in Victoria to keep the status quo. Use the tax dollars to enforce the rules on selling to minors with very severe penalties to any caught. I would like to pick up a bottle of wine or a case of beer when I’m grocery shopping. My only concern about that is the big box stores using liquor sales as a loss leader to get people to shop in their stores. In Alberta, the big box stores have to have their alcohol sales in a separate building.
    Opening a neighborhood bar is probably impossible and costly.
    The liquor branch denies promotions from the private section, then does them themselves. Can you say conflict of interest?
    All these different class of licenses makes no sense. Allows for no flexibility, adds to the cost. Look at the hassle the Rio Theatre went thru trying to serve alcohol. Mind boggling. Some faceless drone in Victoria making arbitrary decisions based on flawed policy.
    The problem I see is that the government doesn’t have the guts to make these decisions on their own, so they set up this phony engagement process.
    Do we really think this is going to change? I doubt it. To many special interests. This government won’t want to start a fight with the union.
    I won’t hold my breathe that anything will change.

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    • Yeah the Rio was madness, but it doesn’t end there. A Chinese restaurant on my street moved a block and had to wait over a month for a renewed liquor licence. Same restaurant, same staff.

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  71. I have lived in BC all of my almost 70 years and have seen the changes in consuming alcohol in public establishments from bottle clubs to nightclubs, from beer parlours where food was a pickled egg to fine dining where a drink can be had. I think the biggest changes need to come in the following areas:
    1. Allowing people to have a drink in public. As it is now if I take friends from out of country on a picnic in one of our beautiful Provincial Parks we can’t have a glass of wine with our lunch legally, how archaic. Nor can I have a cold beer while I watch my friends play in a ball tournament. People do these things now but they have to hide what they are doing. The argument that some people get carried away and become a problem so we shouldn’t allow anyone to have a drink in a public place is idiotic-punish those who abuse it but let the 99% of us who drink responsibly have the right to drink in public places.
    2.The availability to purchase alcohol in grocery and convenience stores. BC proclaims itself as a leader in going green but how does that stack up when I go grocery shopping then have to drive several kilometres to purchase liquor? Or if someone is on their way home from work and instead of stopping by their neighbourhood convenience store for a cold six pack has to drive out of their way to a liquor store. Every US state I have visited as well as the Province of Quebec allows you to purchase some form of liquor in these places.
    3.Happy hours and minors in pubs. If a pub or restaurant want to put on happy hours why not? If the argument is people may drink then drive then they haven’t heard of our tough new drinking and driving laws, again why punish those of us who drink responsibly because of a few irresponsible ones. I cannot fathom why in some pubs you can bring minors in but they can’t cross a line on the floor but if they go to a restaurant they can sit anywhere. Mindboggling!
    Finally, I think what is needed is a mind shift from our history of seeing alcohol as sinful, I remember when they raised taxes on alcohol it was called raising a sin tax. We need to acknowledge that the vast majority of us drink responsibly so we need to allow liquor to become a normal part of our daily lives, much like the rest of the world. Because a very few people behave irresponsibly don’t use them to punish the rest of us.

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  72. I think the most glaring issue with the current liquor laws are in regards to how they are a barrier to small, and even large venues. Obtaining a liquor primary “cabaret” license is near impossible (The Rickshaw being the first venue to succeed in 30 years, and after a nearly two-year wait). Most “new” bars are just grandfathered from previous bars in that same location. Even the most by-the-letter potential business owner unable to open a new business, despite training, following health codes, etc.

    Issue #2 in relation to this, is how small events are so restricted, leaving retail stores, artists studios, and other gathering places in a position where they either can’t hold enough events to help them pay rent (in the most expensive city in North America) or promote culture and the arts, or they are forced to just hold these events illegally and take the risk. The bizarre restrictions on venues not being able to have any minors for all-ages events, regardless of whether all the liquor is locked up, is ridiculous.

    As a long time server and bartender all over Vancouver, in a variety of types of establishments from fine dining to nightclubs, I’ve always wondered why there was a restrictive drinking age if, once we are “old enough” to drink, we’re still treated like miscreants, the assumption being that we still won’t know how to handle ourselves. No one wants drunken idiots starting fights, or damaging property, and drunk driving should absolutely be treated harshly, but social shame for this type of behaviour is far more effective in the long run – if we develop a culture around responsible drinking, as opposed to being scolded like teenagers for the smallest things (ahem, having a beer at a picnic), we’ll all be better off for it.

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  73. I am very glad to see that the government sees a need to overhaul our liquor laws. Which are probably the most repressive in any western country. It is quite obvious that there is still the mindset of the prohibition era alive in BC’s liquor laws. Drinking isn’t seen as a part of our daily lives, as something that people have been doing in mostly responsible ways for thousands of years. The basic notion of our liquor laws seems rather to be that alcohol is intrinsically bad, and thus has to be tightly restricted and controlled. Yes, alcohol can be unhealthy if consumed irresponsibly. That’s true not only for alcohol, but for a lot of things nobody in their right mind would ever think about regulating with the same vigor. In the end a lot of things humans do are not necessarily the safest or most healthy choice. We eat junk food and too much salt on a daily basis. Some of our country’s most beloved sports are among the more dangerous (namely hockey and downhill skiing). And despite tobacco is a lot more damaging to a human body in a shorter period of time than a glass of wine ever could be, you can smoke outdoors pretty much anywhere and buy cigarettes in any grocery store in the province. But then again, tobacco never got picked as the main culprit by the life-defying ideology of the prohibition era.

    The most basic problem of our liquor laws is that instead of targeting alcohol abuse, they demonize drinking entirely, punishing the large majority that drinks responsible with high prices, artificially difficult availability and restrictive handling of places where you can even have a drink at all.
    I think the main aim of the overhaul needs to be to finally remove the mindset of prohibition. The three things that stick out as the main areas are:

    1. Allow purchase of beer and wine in grocery stores.
    There is seriously no good reason not to. Pretty much all western nations handle it that way, even the United States. None of these nations experienced alcohol related problems that cannot be observed in BC as well, so that rule doesn’t do anything good in addition to being inconvenient. Also, it would put alcohol on par with tobacco, which can also be bought in any grocery store. And last but not least, it would remove unnecessary traffic from our roads, for people wouldn’t have to drive to separate stores anymore, just to get their grocery shopping complete.

    2. Allow parents to take their kids into pubs.
    Seriously, what is this rule trying to prevent? Our kids witnessing alcohol consumption? They see that at home, when their parents drink. Our kids being exposed to the odd swear word? Personally I have heard more vulgar language in kindergarten or school than in any pub I ever frequented. Our kids ending up in the middle of a bar brawl? A minority of pubs is rough like that, and do people really assume that parents wouldn’t know which establishment not to bring kids to? In the end, this is a matter that belongs in the hands of parents. And again, most other western nations are way less restrictive with this than BC. The current rule is restricting people’s freedom for no apparent benefit. It’s also confusing, for it’s not always easy to tell which establishments are ok for kids to bring and which aren’t.

    3. Allow people to enjoy beer and wine in public.
    Again, the comparison with smoking is what makes the current ban on public consumption appear arbitrary. Smoking in public is fine while having a beer with your picnic isn’t? That doesn’t make sense, for smoking is unhealthier than a beer, more annoying for bystanders (second-hand smoke), more dangerous to the environment (alcohol doesn’t cause forest fires, cigarette butts do). Yes, nobody wants to see binge-drinking parties on our beaches, but that’s what the “no public intoxication” rule is there for: Punish the people who abuse freedom, not the large majority that acts responsibly. At the very least, let municipalities decide where to allow drinks in public.
    These three things, while appearing revolutionary to BC, actually aren’t all that revolutionary when comparing them to what most of our peer countries do.

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    • Thanks! I’d score you a 10 out of 5 if I could. Well said!

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      • Agreed. I’d like to nominate Sasha to be in charge of revising the liquor laws in this province! Great dose of common sense.

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    • Well said Sacha, all your comments are right on the mark. My only addition to them would be that Government should free up the buying system and make pricing, market driven only and not artificially inflated by the Govenment for revenue purposes. I can buy alcohol in Oregon for a third of what I pay here and no tax on top of that. I thought we lived in a free enterprise country, let’s live up to that ideal.

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    • Good comments, but I was one of those that invested in an LRS licence in 2002 when the government was going to exit retailing and called for private investors. Should I lose my investment now because they change their mind again? I had to have a Pub, although I didn’t want one. The two had to be connected although you couldn’t have a door from one to the other. The store has hundreds of BC wines but I couldn’t offer them in the pub because the store couldn’t sell to the pub. It could be no more than 1000 square feet…no make that 2000 square feet, no…make it whatever size you want. The store had to have the same name as the pub…no forget that, call it whatever you want. You can locate it anywhere in BC, no anywhere in the municipality, no you can go 5 kms out of the municipality…oh yeah, but not closer than 1 km to another store. PS…we’re not going to close the government stores after all. In fact we’re going to build new ones, give them later hours and refrigeration. We’re going to privatize distribution, oops no we’re not now. We’re going to be your wholesaler and you competitor…
      As a business person in BC, all I ask is a stable environment in which to invest as an independent business. I don’t want to live in a Walmart world. Does Costco really need the extra business to survive? Thrifties, oops I mean Sobeys? London Drugs, oops I mean Loblaws. Convenience stores, oops I mean, Shell Oil, Chevron, 7/11, Mac’s? We need diversification in all things, including our businesses or all we’ll have left is McJobs, and precious few of those.
      Let’s think about what we want our towns and cities to look and feel like. Support independent business, please.

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    • This is why we shouldn’t have expansion of liquor retailers…imo

      1. Liquor in Grocery stores/convenient store/big box retailers. I oppose this for multiple reasons.
      a) Private businesses have invested large sums of capital in building shops and they would essentially be put out of business by Grocery/Costco type chains. The power of a Grocer to compete on price and use liquor as an lure to bring in customers to buy other higher margin goods. Private stores do not have that luxury.

      b) Currently, I can take my son into a liquor retailer or government store, but he cannot go in on his own. Clearly the control over the exposure of alcohol and alcohol merchandising to minors would no longer apply. They would be exposed and tempted by alcohol in the aisles next to Milk or during their gasoline purchases.

      c) Having so many more outlets to buy alcohol is certainly convenient as you could pick up a groceries for dinner and then also a six-pack of beer. As you readily see, private and government liquor outlets have based their entire business on piggy backing off Grocers/Large big box anchors. Good liquor retailers exists next to Wal-Marts, Superstores and others already.

      d) The market to me seems quite saturated. There are stores nearly every 500m to 1km apart in most cities across this province. From the government’s perspective, a reason to increase liquor retail outlets would be to increase revenues from taxes. However, I don’t believe that increased tax revenues necessarily follow an expansion to liquor retailing as liquor accessibility is already great.

      e) One thing I haven’t mentioned above is that if the government does seriously consider allowing grocers etc to sell liquor that perhaps the same rules that have applied to current private retailers continue to be policy. Rules such as liquor store proximity to other liquor retailers, their inability to sell unrelated merchandise or groceries. So perhaps the liquor stores can be adjacent to the grocer, but not inside them. In addition, perhaps the government does not expand licensing, but allow current license holders to sell their license to grocers. This way private businesses can recover their massive investments.

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  74. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this policy discussion.

    I have lived in British Columbia for most of my life. We have come a long way since the days when alcohol was purchased by filling out a form that an agent took to a back room, discreetly reentering with your purchase in a paper bag. The “Ladies and Escorts” doorway to the pub has gone, and you can have a drink on Sunday now. That’s progress but there is a lot more to do. Before I get a lot older there are two changes that I would like to see:

    1. Lower pricing. If the government is serious about creating jobs and stimulating business and innovation from alcohol sales it must be less greedy and leave something on the table for the other participants. I travel a lot and with the possible exception of Norway I think we must have the highest alcohol prices in the world. I have been in countries that prohibit alcohol sales where imported beer is less expensive than in my corner LDB store. This summer in Italy I purchased a bottle of wine in a nice restaurant at 15 euros that my store is selling at $29.95. At these kinds of markups there is no room to grow the industry.

    2. Relax the laws on drinking in public. That I can be arrested for sharing a glass of wine on my front porch with a neighbour, or having a beer with some friends at a picnic in Stanley Park, is just silly. Surely the police have better things to do than enforce such left-over prohibition era strictures.

    Overall, I think we would all benefit from having a lot less government and government regulation in the sale and distribution of alcohol. I think we’re old enough to look after ourselves now.

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  75. I’m tired of the archaic liquor laws in this province and I know that my entire social circle (most in their mid 40′s) feels the same way. I would like the freedom of choice to buy wine or beer in my local grocery store, I would like to enjoy happy hour at the local wine bar, I would like BC to finally catch up with the rest of the civilized world. I’m also tired of the poor service from Gov’t liquor store employees and would love an Alberta style system here. Its insulting that we are paying their salaries for mediocre service, and being forced to shop there. Choice is never a bad thing!

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  76. Legion’s Support of Fundraisers for Other Than Legions Not For Profit Organizations

    A number of times, not more than six (6), charitable groups approach the Legion Branches and I would think that other Service Clubs are approached in the same manner, that is to use our facilities rent-free. These groups like our facilities as they are roomy, comfortable and as we are somewhat of a club with a friendly atmosphere. They, such as Boomer’s Legacy Bike Ride have shown much interest in our lounge and would like the bar open with the proceeds going to the Legion in a show of support for us supporting their cause, to host and kick start their fundraiser. With the present Liquor Laws we cannot offer them such service.

    Our lounge and bar revenue is the soul source of funds to heat, light and maintain our branch building and some to charities that we are not allowed to use Gaming or our Poppy Fund for. Many charitable groups use our hall, rent free, to hold meetings, craft fairs and fundraisers of all sorts.

    My proposal is that not to exceed six (6) times a year that an entire charitable licensed group complete with their supporters be signed in as a guest group, with all names recorded, of the Legion Branch by a responsible member of the Branch rather than individually by individual branch members, for the purpose of fundraising and that the bar be open and the proceeds of the liquor sales be part of the Legion Branch’s revenue.

    This would give us more freedom to offer our facilities to more groups, to support their causes. A prime example, Tour de Rock. As most Legion Branches have good parking lots with plenty of room and safely located out of the traffic. We are mostly located in easy access areas, which is great for the media photo ops.

    As well as collecting charitable funds and distributing them to the needy, we, The Legion, put in a great deal of effort to support other charitable organizations so they to can make contributions to those in need.

    If we are forced to close our doors, who will than fill this role?

    Lest We Forget

    John C Paulin, President
    Royal Canadian Legion, Comox Branch 160
    1825 Comox Avenue
    Comox BC V9M 3M3
    250 339 2022
    rcl.comox.branch160@shaw.ca

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    • Thanks for the comments John C Paulin; I have heard from others as well that the liquor regulations as they are now make it difficult for Legions to be able to remain financially viable and serve their local communities.

      John Yap

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  77. Thank you for encouraging us to have input into this very important issue being considered. As a member and Poppy Chair at the local Legion branch in Vedder Golden I am quite excited about this review of the laws.

    As most branches in this province are having a difficult time trying to make ends meet, we are in full support of these proposed changes made by our regional office BC/Yukon Command.The changes would allow our branch to be inclusive and responsive to families. Mr.Yap please consider the proposed changes as a way to the future for all branches in this great province.

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  78. I agree that families should be able to eat at a pub provided they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 21 (in other words a 19 year old would not be able to bring his 16 year old young brother to the pub). An ex bar tender, I see this as a very feasible operation provided all children leave the premises at 7 pm. If restaurants are allowed liquor and children, then the same should apply to pubs that serve food. Most countries around the world allow under aged children accompanied by the parents in drinking establishments (pubs), and therefore this redemption would provide a more hospitable environment.

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  79. After traveling through the U.S. in 2011 we found it very welcome and beneficial to our family to be able to go into a pub and eat with our (then) underage son – the food was often better than most restaurants we could afford, and the price point was excellent. I would suggest the model many of those have available – apply for a license to be able to serve minors food in the presence of adults until 9 – 9:30 p.m., when it is wholly a pub and of age patrons only. This is a reasonable compromise I think, and would benefit pubs with more tourism dollars as families need to stop to eat supper or lunch, as well as local families looking for a change of venue. Most pubs these days are a far cry from the old ‘Beer Parlours’ of last century.

    There is currently almost no sensible line between a pub with full food service and a restaurant loaded with TV’s on the walls. Both service food and alcohol, and generally most patrons are there for food with their alcohol.

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    • A decade or so back they changed the designation ” marine pub”. Kids were allowed in for lunch. The day after the change minors were banned from where the ate the day before. Duh.

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  80. I’m a member and volunteer of Legion Branch #54 in Sooke and believe a strong Legion in BC would be the outcome of BC Liquor review and modernization. Br.#54 supports amending liquor laws to 1. allow our families in 2. allow us to sublet kitchens.

    I believe Legion branches are all about families. On Remembrance day we ask the children to remember our fallen soldiers then can not allow them into the Legion to share the rest of the day with their family. Communities come together at Legions – families belong at our Legion branches. In some communities the Legion is the only place that is big enough to hold large gatherings. A strong Legion in BC would be the outcome of BC Liquor review and modernization.

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  81. I fully support the suggestions presented to the BC government from the BC/Yukon Legion Command in regards to changing the BC liquor laws.

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  82. Branch 262 Bella Coola welcomes modernization of B.C’s Liquor Laws.

    Ours is a small remote community where Family is important, a community where people rely on family, and a community where friends are just as cherished. Everyone knows everyone.

    Our Legion hall is extremely important in this community and we host a number of events from Birthdays to funeral services. Remembrance Day Ceremonies are held at our Cenotaph and followed up in our Legion Hall.

    The values in this community are old fashioned values that still hold true to this day. Honesty, respect, hard work, family and friends.

    We would like to be able to have our families participate in our Legion, young people learn best in a family environment and children learn the proper values from their parents and peers. This can really only be effective if the child sees how to act responsibly. We learn by example.

    Many of us feel that Remembrance Day is one of the most important days in the year and we want our children to be able to participate in the day’s ceremonies, including the gathering inside our Legion Hall. This is extremely important to us and to the teaching of the importance of this day to our children.

    Sincerely,
    Ron Richards, President Legion Branch 262 Bella Coola

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    • Ron, thank you for your comment, it is nice to hear the perspective from Bella Coola. Thank you for sharing. Please encourage others in your community to be part of the conversation.

      I’ve also received good input from the Provincial Command of the Legion.

      John Yap

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  83. 1. Take the control from the provincial government and allow direct distribution.
    2. Allow sales of beer and wine in grocery and convenience store locations. These stores can ID a customer as well as a BC liquor store, and they do it all the time for tobacco sales.
    3. Take price floors off the sales of on premise and in store prices. All this does it put more money in the pockets of the sellers
    4. allow minors to sit in an area of the bar where alcohol is served if an adult is there with them.
    5. review the special event rules and regulations to make them fair, and usable.

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    • I agree with these points. I also agree with the comment paper provided by the Marquis Wine organization.

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  84. Going to a Secondary School right next to a Mac’s Convenient store, it is pretty convenient for some people who visit it during break, lunch and after school. After observing for a couple of years, I have noticed that many people visit Mac’s and buy cigarettes through people of age that come and buy it for them, causing more Nicotine addiction in young adolescence. So, if alcohol comes to convenient stores such as Mac’s, who is to say that people will not buy alcohol as well, the same way they do cigarettes? Even though it will be enforced- just like cigarettes, don’t you think that it may get out of hand, dangerous for the others and get teenagers drunk during and after school hours? Won’t they be skipping class, or even worse, coming into class drunk, putting the teachers and their peers in very difficult situations? What would happen if alcoholic products didn’t come into convenient stores? Would it harm the people? What would happen if the alcoholic products came into convenient stores? Wouldn’t it cause more cases of drinking and driving accidents, and other physical abuse? Wouldn’t the quality of a youth’s life be lost? Based on this simple analysis, in my opinion, it would be detrimental if alcohol would be introduced into supermarkets, convenient stores, or any other place where it is easily accessible as this would jeopardize the health and safety everyone around and it would also break the social fabrics of society.

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  85. I think it’s time we stop letting the BC Health Authorities, BCLDB, BCLB, and others like them, spreading their assumptions of doom, gloom and the end of a safe society as we know it rhetoric. They make false statements, such as increasing the cost of alcohol will reduce the amount people will drink. If this were true, then why is BC, currently one of the most expensive provinces to purchase alcohol, (not to mention the world) yet we’re one of the highest in alcohol consumption per capita. Whereas in Manitoba, where the cost of alcohol is nearly 40% less, is middle of the road for consumption? The only cause or result from increased pricing, is making it more difficult for the middle class or less fortunate to afford it. It also attributes to the Health Authorities perceived belief that those who are well off, don’t abuse alcohol. If what they say is true, then Manitoba, Quebec, the entire US & Europe would be nothing but a drunken sinking ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time for big brother to loosen the apron strings and stop punishing the masses due to a few, who’ll find trouble regardless of whether or not alcohol is sold at a corner store, or allowed on beaches, etc.

    The countries with the least amount of alcohol consumption, are the ones worst off and at war. Not hard to figure out really. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

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    • I must say I agree – after having read articles posted in newspapers from prohibition era writers warning of the apocalypse to come if prohibition was lifted, it is mostly fear of the unknown and in some cases, fear-mongering. Make a suite of sensible, manageable rules and following good working models employed elsewhere in North America or Europe, then enforce them.

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      • I also agree. Our outdated Victorian view of alcohol helps to create the desire in youth to want to try it and unfortunately often abuse it. A shift to be more like most of Europe would be a huge improvement.

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    • I totally agree with Michael Greers comments. I frequently travel to Portland where alcohol is a third of the cost here and no tax. Listening to heath authorites rational about raising the prices to stop alcoholism means they must be raging alcoholics down there.

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  86. Currently Home brewed beer and wine as well as U-brew products are not allowed when using and Special Event’s Permit from the BC Liquor store.

    There is a huge community of home brewers and users of the U-Brew systems that when holding events at rented halls cannot serve their own beers and wines because the special permit prohibits it.

    This could encourage more BC home brewers to bring their recipes to critique, and to have weddings with your own wine!!

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    • Private clubs with an A Licence have to buy from a specific liquor store. How dumb is that?

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  87. Marquis Wine Cellars : Liquor Policy Review Submission

    Index to presentation
    • We request the ability to continue to order wines directly and distribute them
    • We would like to be able to sell to restaurants
    • We would like to be able to sell to caterers again
    • We request newspaper wine clubs be allowed in BC
    • We would like to be able to store wine offsite
    • We would like to be able to participate fully at wine fairs and events.
    • We would like to be allowed to share Co-op Advertising
    • We would like to be able to hold live and online wine auctions
    • We would like to be able to donate to charity auctions
    • We request that auctions houses be to allowed to hold wine auctions
    • We request that localized wine auctions be allowed
    • We suggest the BCLC have an internal process for appeal
    • Special items
    ➢ Wine tasting machines
    ➢ Special occasion licenses
    ➢ Educational wine events
    ➢ Appeal process
    ➢ Tastings at Farm Markets

    We request the opportunity to chose and distribute products
    Marquis is a niche market specialist, which seeks out wines from small limited production growers worldwide and markets them to our clients. In consideration of this market development activity, the Province gives us an appropriate discount within which to operate our business and providing us a margin of profit.

    We have spared no expense in sourcing new wines from around the world and launching them into the market. The BCLDB allows us to special order these wines for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars only.

    Many of the wines our team has discovered have been taken over by importers and then offered to the BDLCB for their stores and to restaurants, either of which we are not allowed to sell to.

    The Province has naturally protected the agent/supplier relationship but has unfortunately not recognized private stores, and the effort they make in sourcing wines and their market difference. This has left wine stores vulnerable and exposed by losing the wines we have worked hard to find and promote.

    The position of the agent in the marketplace is an internationally recognized business function and has been for many years. At this time the BCLCB has a process for requesting products, which up to now has been through agents. With this is mind we request we continue to be able to find our own products and to have these available to other stores and to restaurants.

    An example of imaginative legislation would be that of Alberta where Mr. Klein’s government offered a choice to the wine stores. They could both sell wine only, and have permission to import, or be a fully-fledged liquor store without the ability to import.

    An example of imaginative legislation and recognition of their niche market would be that of Alberta where Mr. Klien’s government offered a choice to the initial private wine shops. They could sell only wine, import direct and sell to restaurants or be a full fledged liquor store, sell to restaurants but lose the ability to source wine directly.

    A few years ago 40 producers from the legendary Burgundy wine region came to B.C. Sophisticated wine lovers the world over place the Vins de Bourgogne at the very top of their lists. The only way these small to mid size producers were allowed to receive a ‘listing’ with the Province was as speculative listing, therefore only being able to be sold by the case. As many of these wines start at $50.00 a bottle up to several hundred dollars a bottle it was exceedingly difficult and cost prohibitive for a restaurant to list these wines as they had to be purchased by the case versus by the bottle if private stores were permitted to sell to restaurants.

    The producers came back for another tasting but in substantially diminished numbers and today they have not visited Vancouver in years citing that it was too difficult to do business in BC. The Province of Quebec continually welcomed these producers where extensive business takes place. This is a lost opportunity for our restaurants, stores, hotels and even perhaps consulting agreements with local wineries to occur.

    Solution request:
    That the Province permit wine stores the opportunity to grow and sell products to restaurants this would allow them participate fully in the economic growth and prosperity of the province.

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • In a global economy the expectation of speedy response to purchasing requests is a powerful reality, which must be adhered to by every business, otherwise business is lost.
    • Wine stores are now sophisticated businesses with their own global networks of specialized suppliers, suppliers they have spent significant funds on identifying, and they must be able to satisfy their business needs otherwise it is a lost business opportunity.
    • If wine stores were able to govern the distribution of wines they have sourced, select & market edge would be maintained.
    Current Lifestyle
    • Customers expect to be able to get what they want from whom they want in the quantities they want, this is the way all other businesses function.
    Societal Values
    • If wine stores could be treated as an agent when choosing and distributing selected specialized wines, the citizen would have open choice and tax revenues would increase.
    Business flexibility
    • At our store I can currently select and buy any amount of wine I wish from a foreign vineyard, however, my volume is driven by the fact that I cannot sell to restaurants. This flexibility will allow me to service the needs of my suppliers in a current sensible manner. Currently this is not allowed in BC.
    Jobs and Investment
    • If we are able to import the exclusive wines we wish to, and in any quantity we choose, we will be able to show my clients that we have a market edge on fine new products. This will add sales and marketing success to our business

    Revenue
    • If we are able to show our clients that we have the most interesting new wines and are at the leading edge of bringing in what is new and desirable, we will make more profit and the Province will receive more tax income.

    We would like to be able to sell to restaurants.
    Current Provincial policy does not allow any private wine store to sell to restaurants. We request that all players be given the same opportunity and treatment to grow and sell their products.

    Currently there are some 28,000 wines, spirits and beers listed by the BCLDB. Out of those only 4224 of those products can be found on BCLDB shelves, the balance, some 22,975 wines are known as speculative items. These items are stored in a bonded warehouse and restaurants are obligated to order these products in full case lots. They are not to be offered for sale on BCLDB liquor store shelves but can only be sold to restaurants and private retailers

    Restaurants are obligated to purchase full case lots of these wines. In todays economic environment forcing a business to purchase full cases lots of wine is an expensive and high-risk proposition. As an example, if a establishment wishes to populate their wine list with say ten unique wines new to the market place, priced between $30-$40 a bottle, they would be forced to spend between $3600.00 to $4,800.00 to populate their list. This represents a huge risk.

    If the private sector were allowed to sell to restaurants they would be able to purchase what they need either on a daily or weekly basis, like any citizen shopping at the grocery store, one buys what they can afford and no more.

    Should our business sector be able to sell to restaurants we estimate our business income would increase by millions of dollars resulting in increased tax income for the Province.

    Solution/ request:
    • That the Province give restaurants the right to choose how and when to buy their wine, and wine stores the right to sell to them.

    Why?
    Emerging market realities
    • Client demand on restaurants has refined and intensified as competition increases daily to maintain a market edge. Consequently restaurants need the right to choose how to go about their business. If a special customer wants to try a particular wine the restaurant needs the right to serve that customer by accessing the wine if they choose to.
    • If a restaurant runs out of a wine unexpectedly, they need the right to access that product at their earliest convenience – most probably from a wine store
    • If a chef, on a certain day, decides to experiment pairing a wine with a certain dish and wishes to test out their market, the chef needs the right to send out a staff member to the wine store to access the wine of choice. They do not want to have to buy an entire case.
    • Restaurants need to access wine speedily in order to respond to fast moving business demands

    Current lifestyle
    • Many restaurants experiment with menu changes daily. At the same time they need the option to access a small quantity of wine to compliment the food. This access to specific choice is a fundamental in modern creative business practice.
    • As news about new wines is constantly spread across the net, and in order to maintain market edge, restaurants need to be able to access the most current wine selections to offer their ever more sophisticated customers, and wine stores supply that need.
    Societal Values
    • It is no longer the 19th century when values of the Victorian era were imported into Canada wholesale. Our current, more sophisticated, increasingly international and highly individualistic population can afford and demand speedy market response to their ever-changing consumer requirements. Businesses that do not respond to rapid market change, fail.
    Business Flexibility
    • In September 2013, the LDB product lists included 22,974 ‘specialized wines’ which are not placed on Liquor store shelves. Current regulations demand these expensive wines are only sold to restaurants and wine stores, but can only be sold to them by the case. Very few businesses will take a risk on purchasing a new item in such bulk without being able to test out a small amount on their clients first. If we, the wine store, were able to sell directly to caterers, this problem would disappear, and wines would move more effectively from storage to consumer.
    • Current law does not appear to support best business practice and clearly limits the right to choose for a restaurant to decide when and how to buy product for sale.
    • Many restaurants wish to try a couple of bottles of a new wine on their clients to see whether they will be liked. This process would make that option available where at present under the current law a restaurant or caterer must buy an entire case. This does pose a significant business risk to the restaurant.
    Jobs and Investment
    • If a wine store was able to sell to restaurants, we would require hiring sales personnel, marketing staff, storage staff and office workers to address demand. As British Columbia is principally comprised of small businesses, allowing our business to sell to restaurants would enable us to increase our small business presence and to compliment the BC small business profile.
    • If all wine stores were able to sell to restaurants staff hiring in our challenged economy could be well into the hundreds, and these jobs would not be seasonal but all-year positions.
    Revenue
    • Allowing wine stores to sell directly to caterers will increase the options and choice available to restaurants. The result of more choice is more sales, resulting in higher tax income for the province.

    We would like to be allowed to sell to caterers again
    Wine stores used to be able to sell to caterers, but an unintended consequence of caterers being declared licensees is that they now must only buy from the BCLDB.

    Prior to this interpretation of the rules, Marquis provided a credit card system so that the owner of the catering business would not have to come to our store for every new purchase. All they would have to do was call or email an order in and Marquis did the rest. We also provided a delivery service, pre-chilling their order and delivering it to the event sight or the caterer’s facility.

    Since the change in regulation interpretation, owners must now attend the liquor store for every purchase and none of the other services mentioned are provided, resulting in environmental challenges and significant cost in time. As a result of this regulation my business lost well over $120,000 a year in one year from just two companies. We request that wine stores be allowed to sell to caterers again.

    Solution request:
    • That the Province give caterers the right to choose how and when to buy their wine, and wine stores the right to sell to them.
    Why?
    Emerging market realities
    • Client demand on caterers has refined and intensified as competition increases daily to maintain a market edge. International clients are well traveled and versed in international business and are accustomed to being able to purchase wine for their events easily. When the labyrinth of liquor policies and laws are explained to them such special occasion licenses, where the can buy the wine, the selection and whether a facility want to bring it in or purchase off their standard catering wines they either choose to cancel the vent or in some cases select another city to hold their event in. Caterers need the right to choose how to go about their business and satisfy their clients needs. If a special customer wants to try a particular wine the caterer needs the right to serve that customer by accessing the wine if they choose to.
    • If a caterer runs out of a wine unexpectedly, they need the right to access that product at their earliest convenience – most probably from a wine store.
    • If a chef, on a certain day, decides to experiment pairing a wine with a certain dish and wishes to test out their market, the chef needs the right to send out a staff member to the wine store to access the wine of choice. They do not want to have to buy an entire case.
    • Caterers need to access wine speedily in order to respond to fast moving business demands

    Current lifestyle
    • Many caterers experiment with menu changes daily or their clients may request a specific wine only available within the private market and the same time they need the option to access a small quantity of wine to compliment the food. This access to specific choice is a fundamental in modern creative business practice.
    • As news about new wines is constantly spread across the net, and in order to maintain market edge, caterers need to be able to access the most current wine selections to offer their ever more sophisticated customers, and wine stores supply that need.
    Societal Values
    • It is no longer the 19th century when values of the Victorian era were imported into Canada wholesale. Our current, more sophisticated, increasingly international and highly individualistic population can afford and demand speedy market response to their ever-changing consumer requirements. Businesses that do not respond to rapid market change, fail.

    Business Flexibility
    • In September 2013, the LDB product lists included 22,974 ‘specialized wines’ which are not placed on Liquor store shelves. Current regulations demand these expensive wines are only sold to restaurant’s, caterers and wine stores, but can only be sold to them by the case. Very few businesses will take a risk on purchasing a new item in such bulk without being able to test out a small amount first. If we, the wine stores, were able to sell directly to caterers, this problem would disappear, and wines would move more effectively from storage to consumer.
    • Current law does not appear to support best business practice and clearly limits the right to choose for a restaurant or caterer to decide when and how to buy product for sale.
    • Many caterers wish to try a couple of bottles of a new wine on their clients to see whether they will be liked. This process would make that option available where at present under the current law a caterer must buy an entire case. This poses a significant financial risk to the caterer.
    Jobs and Investment
    • As British Columbia is principally comprised of small businesses, allowing us to sell and deliver to caterers would require us hiring full time sales personnel comprising of marketing, warehouse and office staff to address demand.

    Revenue
    • Allowing wine stores to sell directly to caterers will increase the options and choice available to restaurants. The result of more choice is more sales, resulting in higher tax income for the province.
    • The moment wine stores were refused permission to sell to caterers my business alone lost a minimum of $120,000 a year in income from two clients

    We request newspaper wine clubs be allowed in BC
    Almost everywhere else in the world, newspaper wine Clubs exist, many of them hosted by celebrated newspapers such as The London Times, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The Wall Street Journal. In BC newspapers are currently not allowed to start a wine club.

    One of the major newspapers did try to start a wine club with us; the request was refused by liquor control and licensing as it was felt that there was not enough distinction between the newspaper and the wine store and the public would have been confused the newspaper was selling wine. We would like to see the Province introduce regulations that would allow this activity. An appeal was considered but unfortunately the only appeal process is not internal, but a Judicial Review. Should the Province decide to allow joint venture newspaper wine clubs, my business alone would significantly grow creating new jobs.

    We suggest the problem may well stem from the fact that current legislation is ‘skeletal’, the result of which is that regulations are perceived at the BCLC level and not defined in the legislation. This can result in uneven decision-making.

    Solution request:
    That the Province allow wine clubs and allow wine stores to participate in the creation of them.

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • BC is no longer simply a home for loggers and pioneers, about whom original liquor laws were introduced, and as a result we suggest a quantum shift in the attitude to wine sales is required. Every day, BC welcomes new citizens from around the world, citizens bringing an expectation that in their new country of residence they may be able to enjoy the sophisticated benefits they enjoyed in their country of origin. One of these is the choice to join a wine club hosted by their favored newspaper through which members have the opportunity to interact as well as to have access to special wines not generally available.
    Current Lifestyle
    • The world’s most celebrated newspapers, including The London Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times of London all have wine clubs. Quite apart from maintaining newspaper clientele, wine clubs add a note of sophistication to the client who joins the club and sophistication is currently a highly desired attribute among urban professionals. Potential clients may live outside the lower mainland and cannot get in often to shop or they may even live in Vancouver but simply do not wish to travel downtown.
    Business Flexibility
    • The Province has an interest in the development of its business community. Allowing newspapers to join with a wine store in providing a value-added service to their readers will assist in the development of the profile of the newspaper business, as well as offering the ability of the partnered wine store to introduce interesting wine choices to the customer, so introducing further exclusivity to the process. Businesses that can offer exclusivity have a clear market edge.
    Jobs and Investment
    • If newspaper wine clubs are allowed in BC, increased demand at the wine store level will take place. As a result marketing, sales and website professionals will be required both at the newspaper level as well as at the wine store therefore continuing to increase the small business profile of the province as well as its tax income.

    Revenue
    • Publicly advertised newspaper wine clubs will result in increased sales and tax revenue. Wine Clubs exist all over the world in all major cities and online for most countries.

    We would like to be able to store wine offsite.
    Currently wine stores are not allowed to store any wine offsite. With urban rental common at $35-$40 per square foot, this cost is a great burden for a small business. The regulation, which seems to echo the days of bootlegging rules, obliges us to store all stock onsite using up highly expensive retail space, which logically should be able to be stored elsewhere. This regulation severely limits our ability to respond to customer demand, as we do not have the space to store hundreds of cases in regulated temperatures ready for client access at a convenient location. Because we cannot store offsite we have to go through a very long ordering process, which can make it exceedingly difficult for business during peak buying seasons. We request the opportunity to store wine offsite and have the option of sharing storage with another store.

    Solution request:
    That the Province allows wine stores to store product offsite, with the option of sharing space with another wine store.

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • Demand for wine product varies and in order to adequately respond to this demand wine stores need appropriate storage space for their product. Like many businesses it is cheaper for us to store larger quantities offsite though within easy access for sales.
    Current Lifestyle
    • In the Victorian era wine was a rare commodity in BC. Things are different now. As with any successful business, wine stores need to be able to respond to customers’ immediate demands for product. Therefore product needs to be readily available
    • As our towns and cities become ever more urban and demand for retail and other business space grows, costs for space also increases. In order to address demand while keeping costs down, therefore allowing reasonable pricing and profit margins, offsite storage is vital to good business practice.
    Societal Values
    • It appears that the historical reason for forbidding offsite storage was the risk of bootlegging. We believe this antiquated and unfortunate survivor of another age has clearly outlived its shelf date and we respectfully suggest it is time for its repeal.
    • Citizens and businesses expect their government to respond to market requirements in a reasonable manner and to see a good sense solution to market flow problems.
    Business Flexibility
    • Being obliged to store all product in a normal sized store is unsightly and does not allow the store the small business freedom to display product in a pleasant and attractive way as demand on space is taken up with storage.
    • Businesses would appreciate being allowed to make their own decisions about where to store their goods.
    • Easy access to product for any business is vital to best business practice. Product has to be packaged and stored at the right temperature in order for quality control to be safely maintained. Seasonal packaging and group wine selections need to be prepared for clients. Using expensive retail space for storage is not a ‘best value’ business practice.
    Jobs and Investment
    • If our business, as with most other urban wine stores, could store offsite we would have more room for sales and other staff. Allowing offsite storage would result in increased staffing.
    • If we were allowed to store product offsite, we would be able to purchase more products, and give clients more selection, backed up by a ready and accessible supply.
    • A wine shop may have other retailers on either side of their store, whom may have long term leases, therefore making it expensive if not impossible to expand their business without moving, which also has its restraints. Allowing off site storage will allow a business to expand their selection, deliver to their clients and service their needs without being forced to buy out neighbouring leases, if at all.
    Revenue
    • It has been suggested that the reason behind refusing offsite storage to wine stores is that the Province may wish to protect its own Liquor Stores, the business success of which appears to be under stress.
    • Commercial rental in Vancouver, and increasingly across BC, is very high – approx $35 per sq ft., therefore maximum economic benefit must be assured at any rental location for any business. If a wine store has to store all of its product onsite, precious display areas are taken up and not available for presentation and sales.

    We would like to be able to participate fully at wine fairs and events.
    Tastings:
    Public wine tastings and other wine events are common in Alberta, California, France, Italy and the UK and across other part’s the world.

    They offer the opportunity for wine stores to showcase their unique products and services and for potential clients to ‘discover’ a new wine and a new local business. Last year we attended the RAW wine fair in London and in the entrance of the tasting was a small shop selling wines attendees tasted at the fair. I recently spoke to one BC agent who had a store in Alberta and regularly trucked wine to sell at events.

    Currently only importers, who have no retail storefront, are only allowed to participate in these tastings. Wine sores are only allowed to have informational table-advising clients of our services. We request that we be able to fully engage them at the table by being allowed to show case our wines by being able to pour samples for them.

    Taking Orders at Wine fairs

    At a wine fair or event, we as a wine store experience the following limitations to doing business:
    • We are not allowed to pour wines at wine events.
    • We cannot pour wine anywhere other than our own store.
    • We cannot provide an iPhone, iPad, tablet, or any other technological device so that a customer can order from us.
    • We are not allowed to solicit orders at a wine fair.
    • We cannot take verbal orders at a wine event

    In todays mobile savvy and technologically advanced society where online and smartphone ordering are extremely common, we find these limitations unfair.

    Many of the wines poured at public tastings today are speculative wines (limited distribution stored in a bonded warehouse full case lots only) consumers simply find it too time consuming and cumbersome to seek out these wines. Having an order desk and taking single bottle orders would help consumers and the importers.

    In BC:
    • Pouring at offsite events is a method of promoting the wine store. This is currently forbidden, unlike in Alberta, California and many other jurisdictions.
    • Only those designated as Agents are allowed to pour wine at wine events, eliminating wine stores from a huge business opportunity
    • It is not allowed for a wine store in BC to provide a method for a purchaser to buy or order a wine they have tasted at a wine festival, example, attending a fair with an IPAD
    • It is not allowed for a wine store to provide a tasting at a wine fair. It is not allowed for a wine store to pour wine anywhere outside the store’s walls.
    • It is not allowed for a wine store to help a potential purchaser to use their smartphone to order wine from them online.

    Today’s consumer demands quick, timely and efficient delivery of goods and services and must be able to service them in a professional manner in which they have become acustomed to. Single bottle sale and delivery of speculative wines will allow the consumer to explore and discover unique wines without having to make drive all over the city collecting bottles here and there and saving on the carbon foorprint.

    Solution request:
    That the Province allows wine stores to participate, market and take orders at wine fairs

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • The wine business is a multi billion-dollar industry, which is being encouraged to blossom in most administrations
    • Currently consumers find our system confusing, frustrating, and outdated, they do not understand nor care why they cannot order on site or have to scour the city for the wines they are looking for.
    Current Lifestyle
    • People attending wine fairs now are looking for choice, varied selection and immediacy.
    Societal Values
    • The current market requires the ability to immediately respond to a customers needs. At a wine fair, individuals wish to be able to order wines immediately and in a manner of their choosing.
    Business flexibility
    • Currently wine stores in BC are restricted in terms of business and selling. We are not allowed to sell or market or pour at wine events. Wine stores are currently only allowed to pour wine onsite at their store, this limits their potential market reach.
    • Normal current marketing and selling activity for any business, including wine stores, normally includes the flexible ability to market and sell at will anywhere a business can access. Access to a natural marketplace – that of the wine fair – is currently forbidden.
    • ‘Pouring offsite’. (the ability to pour wine for customers at a location other than my store). At a wine fair people naturally expect to be able to taste wines. Wine stores are currently not allowed to pour at a wine fair which effectively eliminates the possibility of my doing business at a fair.
    • As a major wine store and specialized wine merchant wine fairs could provide my business with a clear opportunity to grow my business. I am currently not allowed to trade at these trade 7 consumer orientated fairs which is the perfect audience for my business.
    • Because of the many restrictions on creative sales, especially at wine fairs, my business has been restricted significantly in its growth potential.
    • Alberta has encouraged this business and those retailers who take advantage of it have been able to significantly grow their business.

    Jobs and Investment
    • If my business was able to market and sell through wine fairs it is clear I would be able to hire more staff. Staff to pour tasting wines, sommeliers, for choosing wines, salespersons to sell office staff for backup and graphic designers and web designers to create marketing materials. Current laws not allow this activity.

    Co-op Advertising should be allowed
    Sharing advertising costs with suppliers is a common practice.

    Solution request:
    That the Province allow co-op advertising

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • Co-op advertising is a common practice used throughout the world for a variety of goods and services. It helps defray the cost of newspaper and other types of advertising.
    Current lifestyle
    • People want to receive information easily and from any source they choose and with international travel and the internet they already see it
    Societal Values
    • Our workforce at all levels is well informed about alcohol consumption risks and abuse.
    Business Flexibility
    • A common trade practice in other parts of the world and we would appreciate Provincial acceptance for this common practice. Shared advertising is a fiscally responsible method of attracting attention to a business.
    Jobs and Investment
    • Graphic design, web and other related jobs would be enhanced
    Revenue
    • We suggest that if a business is permitted to partake in co-op advertising revenues will increase as stores will be able to get clients to trade up in their wine purchases.

    We would like to be able to hold live and online wine auctions
    In almost every other country, commercial wine auctions take place both live and online, and are significant source of tax and commercial revenue in the billions of dollars. The Province of Ontario even holds its own highly successful wine auction. Willow Park, a private store in Calgary, has its own wine auction. The Sonoma Wine Country sold over $11 million of wine through auctions.

    The Napa Valley Wine auction is attended by thousands of people, in 2013 it raised 10.5 million of dollars, and funds raised are donated to local charities. The Napa Valley Vintners association has an event called Napa Premier. Napa vintners make five to ten case lots of special wine and auction it to the trade. The event is used as a fundraiser to help promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation; in 2013 I believe they raised 3.1 million dollars.

    Can you imagine if the BC wineries got together to hold a gala wine auction featuring large format etched bottles of BC wine along with people wishing to donate wine from their cellar? This would attract people from all over Canada and eventually the world while building BC’s brand. Hotels would be filled, catering companies booked and airline tickets booked. This would have a profound effect on the Okanagan.

    K & L Wine Merchants in California regularly holds online wine auctions with some bottles worth over $1500 a bottle.

    As a wine store specializing in fine wines we have spent 27 years amassing a client list of people who would enjoy attending and bidding at a wine auction. We would like to be able to hold a wine auction in BC but am currently forbidden to do so by legislation.

    Wine Auctions are a worldwide successful phenomenon generating billions of dollars annually in sales and consequently extensive tax revenue. Australia, whose population is approximately half of Canada’s boasts an incredibly successful wine auction system bringing millions of dollars into the economy. Proper auctions are simply forbidden in BC

    Solution request:
    That the Province allow commercial and online wine auctions

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • Wine auctions have become a major social phenomenon and are now considered a significant aspect of modern urban life.
    • Across the world, wine auctions draw ever more sophisticated attention to the worlds burgeoning wine market. Currently they are not allowed in BC.
    Current Lifestyle
    • As BC’s cities and communities continue to attract people from across the world to live and to work here, there is a growing expectation for people to be able to take part in wine auctions as they would be able to in their original home communities.
    Societal Values
    • Wine consumption and wine selection and tasting are now integral to many people’s lives as part of the fabric of their social lives. Wine auctions in other administrations are welcomed as a viable and genuine cultural experience.
    Business Flexibility
    • The wine business in BC is a dynamic and creative business sector actively engaged in expanding its business activities in the manner of other administrations. We agree with the Province that current outdated liquor policies pose many obstacles to business
    Jobs and Investment
    • If wine auctions are sanctioned in BC, many jobs will be created. Auctioneers, advertising staff, publicists, graphic artists, video-makers, website designers, sales staff, marketing staff, drivers, packers and accountancy staff will all be required to manage a successful auction business sector.
    Revenue
    • Revenue income from wine auctions in other administrations is in at the very least in the tens of millions of dollars.

    We would like to be able to donate to charity auctions
    Marquis Wine Cellars, as a way of giving back to our community and to benefit from the marketing profile, was pleased to donate desirable, and often rare, wines to charity auctions. This used to be allowed in BC until regulations were re-interpreted at the Board level with the result that each wine item now has to be matched by an item of equal value. This regulation has unfortunately dealt charities in BC a massive income blow and worse, because charities can now only receive wine donations from agents or manufacturers, who rarely donate valuable wines. The most valuable wines are traditionally donated by individuals and by wines stores – often individually valued in the thousands of dollars. This regulation now puts extra funding pressure on the government, as charities are no longer earning what they otherwise could. We request that the Province review this regulation and allow wine stores to donate to charities.

    Here is an example of a charity model, which is highly successful in many other jurisdictions, but is unfortunately not allowed in BC. We would prepare a list of wines we would donate to the charity and present them online. Individuals then buy these wines online and donate them to the charity. The charity then picks the wine up from us and auctions it. This creative and profitable charitable opportunity is unfortunately illegal in BC. This is a win-win scenario as the wine store garners extra business and the charity raises much needed funds.

    The Auction Napa Valley recently raised $1.9 million for medical charities, $1.4 million for social services charities and $1.5 million for children’s and sports charities. This event is a huge North American attraction with thousands of people attending.

    In other administrations in Canada, charity auctions are an accepted and encouraged part of the fundraising year. For instance:
    • Willow Park in Alberta raises over $250,000 a year, to an accumulated total so far of over $2.5 million, for the charitable Vintage Fund, which supports over a dozen needy charities.
    • The Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Opera and Bard on the Beach, to give three examples are only allowed to receive donations for their auctions from a manufacturer or an agent. However, it is well recognized that the most valuable wines have always been donated by individuals or wine stores, often valued in the thousands of dollars. We believe charities should be allowed, once again, to receive donations from individuals and from wine stores.

    As a wine store we would like to take part in or produce charity auctions, but regulations forbid us doing so – a decision which represents a financial loss for our business

    Solution request:
    That the Province eliminate restrictions on Charity wine auctions

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • Canadians are a generous nation, and as citizens we enjoy supporting charitable organisations. Charitable auctions are an exciting opportunity to socialize, do business, network and bid on fine wines, resulting in income for designated charities as well as taxes for the Province.
    • As competition in the wine market continues to grow, vintners and wine merchants look to charity wine auctions as a major opportunity to educate the public about their products and to grow their reputation in the community as generous contributors to the community wellbeing.
    Current Lifestyle
    • Charity Wine Auctions have become a major opportunity for the corporate community and Society to come together, mix and mingle and show their financial support for the charities of the moment.
    • Charity Auctions have become a place where Canadians of all ethnic groups can mix together in environment that celebrates success as well as altruism.
    Societal Values
    • Prior to recent interpretations of Provincial law at the staff level, charity auctions in BC expressed the public’s financial support and generosity through corporate and private donations of special wines, often of extremely high value. It was not uncommon for individual wines valued at over $10,000 to be offered at auction, wine by a wine store or by an individual.
    Business Flexibility
    • In order to flourish, the wine industry must be able, like any other successful business, to creatively pursue inventive methods of promoting their name and business. While being of benefit to the charitable community and to the province as a whole, wine stores need to be an integral part of a broad charitable wine auction system.
    Jobs and Investment
    • Charity Wine Auctions will financially enable charities in BC to staff their operations.
    • Charity Wine Auctions will provide work for designers, tech staff, hotel staff, servers, security agencies, auctioneers, casual staff, promoters, producers, publicists as well as maintaining current charitable agency staff levels.

    Revenue
    • If the Province reintroduces the ability for wine stores to donate to charity auctions, income for charities will radically improve and alleviate funding pressure on the government for non-profit funding.

    We request that auctions houses be to allowed to hold wine auctions
    Auction houses, such as the legendary Christies, have held wine auctions for hundreds of years but are not allowed in BC. We request that the Province allow auction houses to auction wine in BC.

    Solution request:
    That the Province allow Auction Houses to hold wine auctions.

    Why?
    Emerging Market Realities
    • Auction houses in other administrations hold high profile successful wine auctions, which increase their business profile, widen their client base and create an opportunity cross-market from one area of auction activity into another. Public auctions are considered socially desirable.
    Current Lifestyle
    • Auctions are seen as a social as well as a business opportunity. People of a like mind are drawn together into an auction setting where new consumer trends are confirmed and expanded, social circles widened and networking opportunities take place.
    Societal Values
    • In prohibition days any form of selling alcohol other than through government sources was judged severely and frowned upon as immoral, illegal and not desirable. Things have changed. Citizens expect to be able to access wine in any manner of their choosing and auctions are a creative and interesting method of accessing wines.
    Business Flexibility
    • In order to expand business, the commercial sector requires legislation that supports business flexibility.
    • BC has many reputable auction houses which would benefit financially by being able to hold wine auctions.
    Jobs and Investment
    • If Auction houses were allowed to hold wine auctions their overall business will clearly increase.
    • Wine auctions at Auction houses will expand the auction house clientele while at the same time increasing staff requirement to handle new business.
    Revenue
    • Auction House wine auctions across the world bring in billions of dollars in business and resulting taxes. It is common for individual wines to be sold at auction for many thousands of dollars. When hundreds of wines are sold at a live or online auction is easy to see the potential income from such enterprising activity. The tax revenues from wine auctions are extensive and this is a revenue BC legislation currently eliminates from Provincial revenues as a direct result of its antiquated legislation.

    Special items

    We would like the restrictions on in-store wine tasting machines relaxed
    At Marquis we have a wine tasting machine. This is a sophisticated $20,000.00 sealed device designed to preserve wine safely and without loss to flavor by use of a vacuum. However, current regulations demand we pour all the wine out at the end of the day. As the pouring device is specifically designed to preserve the integrity of the wine we suggest that it is not necessary to waste this expensive product at the end of the day.

    The device is also designed to automatically and specifically limit the quantity of wine poured, in order that customers can operate the pouring themselves. This is the purpose of the device. Under current regulations, however, customers are forbidden to press the button to pour their small tasting glass themselves. We request that this regulation be lifted to encompass the true capability of the device.

    The tasting device pours wine into a glass. As a specialty store selling sophisticated brands we naturally supply proper tasting glasses for this purpose. Under current legislation we are unfortunately obliged to serve in plastic glasses only, which does not compliment the quality of the wine being poured, and request that this regulation be lifted.

    We would like to be able to issue Special Occasion Licenses.
    A special occasion license turns a person into a licensee for a day and must be bought from a LDB.

    As a proven licensed retailer, we request that we be able to issue special occasion licenses, a process which, would simplify the process for the citizen

    A person who receives a special occasion license for giving wine away, such as at a wedding, can buy from us. However, if the wine is to be sold, it is illegal for us to sell wine to the license holder – they are obliged to buy from an LDB. We request that this regulation be lifted, and as a result our business sales would significantly increase.

    We suggest Educational Events discussing wine be allowed
    Wine based educational events, such as sommelier workshops and other public educational events are not allowed in BC., but are common across the world. These events enhance business opportunities and educate the public and we request that the Province allow them to take place.

    We suggest the BCLC have an internal process for appeal.
    If a business is refused a license and wishes to appeal that decision there is, at present, no appeal process within the Branch to deal with this problem. The only current appeal opportunity is a highly expensive time consuming Judicial Review. We suggest that the Province introduce an internal license review process.

    Minister, we respectfully ask you to consider the requests we have put forward in regard to the Liquor Policy Review. We agree and believe that this is an ideal time for the Province to sweep away regulations which are an obstacle to best business and best value practices, while taking into account appropriate public health values. Should the Province decide to support our industry in this manner, billions of extra dollars will flow into the BC economy.

    As a stakeholder company, Marquis Wine Cellars is vitally interested in this important review. As a result, Mr. John Clerides, the President of Marquis Wine Cellars and I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you during the review process to discuss the items we have identified in more detail. We would also be pleased to offer any feedback or take part in discussions you may feel useful to the process.
    I may be contacted at any time at 604 209 8917.

    We look forward to your response to this request for a meeting,

    Yours sincerely,

    Michael R Harding
    Consultant to Marquis Wine cellars

    Marquis Wine Cellars
    1034 Davie Street
    Vancouver, BC V6E 1M3
    http://www.marquis-wines.com

    Michael Harding: Consultant 604 662 7209
    John Clerides: President, Marquis Wine Cellars 604 684 0445

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    • Well said Maichael, a very comprehensive list of necessary changes.

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      • It is truly baffling how some of these restrictions evolved.

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  88. I agree that BC Govt. should get out the Liquor Retail business.We all should take a recent example of Washington state’s decision and all other states in USA and also our neighbour province Alberta.

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  89. The kind of markup placed on products need to be updated. The markups on products that are already expensive is too high. A bottle of $60 scotch is almost $150 here. That’s the Ardbeg Uigeadail. Ron Zacapa 23 year old rum is $36 at most in the US and it’s $80 here. Pretty much anything premium is like that, the markup prices it to the point where only CEOs driving Mazaratis can afford it.

    The result is that the rest of us can only afford bottom shelf, mass manufactured product that is not sold for purposes of taste, but sold and visibly advertised as “Social Lubricants”… the kind of drunk the BC addictions center and MADD don’t want us to get. The irony! And it loses you revenue when we end up waiting until we’re in the states to buy a product that should be $70 but is close to $200 here instead.

    I have no problem with minimum pricing, or even raising the minimum price, on products like Smirnoff or Captain Morgan. But it is inherently wrong on so many levels to price artisan, taste-oriented products to be priced into orbit.

    Also, there needs to be a BC-distilled section at our liquor stores, just like there is for wine…

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    • Excellent point Miles. The current pricing policy must be overhauled. Where else do all the regular Vodka’s, Gins, Scotches generally have the same price point and the more refined products priced out of reach of the average consumer.

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  90. Here are a few little known facts that will surprise, I think, more than a few people.

    The BC Liquor Distribution Act states “The government acquires title to any liquor coming within the boundaries of British Columbia”. Therefore, the $15 bottle of wine (750ml), which I have paid for in the State of Washington (with post tax income), by this law, suddenly becomes the property of the Government of British Columbia when crossing the border. (This is also why cross provincial barriers to personal importation of alcohol existed for the past 80+ years.) Under section 19 (2) of this Act, I must surrender my bottle of wine to a customs officer who, by an agreement between the Province of BC and the Canada Border Services Agency, acts as an agent of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. This is despite the fact that I have legally paid for and transported this bottle by my own means to a Canadian border crossing into the province of BC.

    Secondly, following this forced surrender of my purchase, legally mandated by the Province of BC, the surrendered bottle can be resold and released to the casual importer (me) as long as I pay a customs officer the amount set under subsection (4) (a). The amount set under this subsection is determined by the “General Manager” of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. The General Manager presently, has set this amount to 117% of the purchase price with a minimum of $2.44 per litre and a maximum of $17 per litre.

    As a consequence of BC claiming title to my bottle of wine when arriving at the BC border, they use this legal provision to charge you and I the liquor board mark-up, which is collected by the Canada Border Services Agency.

    A complete re-write of the BC Liquor Distribution Act is required. This act, written in the early 1920′s (to facilitate the exit of prohibition) is the basis for all liquor laws in the Province of BC. While the province has tinkered around the edges with provisions, the underpinnings of this Act written over 90 years ago, exist today. Minimally the Act should be changed so the Government of BC does not acquire title of any personal (casual) importation of alcohol when you or I cross the border.

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  91. My biggest problem with BC liquor laws is how many licenses are available to businesses and how restrictive these licenses are. Getting a license for your business is like a lottery, you have to take over an existing license to get one. The demand for alcohol remains the same regardless of how many licenses are distributed. Everyone should have equal opportunity to sell and distribute alcohol responsibly. If everyone who is out and drinking at a particular moment in time happened to be spread out across more places there would still be the same amount of people drinking. Having more availability to alcohol does not increase consumption.

    The drinking age of 19 is perfectly acceptable, you can buy pornography, cigarettes, get married and vote at 18 which all involve a fair amount of responsible decision making. Drinking at 19 if anything is a year too old.

    Public consumption of alcohol (Beaches, Parks, Golf Courses etc.) should also be perfectly legal. Aggressive, boisterous and irresponsible behavior is what needs to be controlled. Alcohol free zones are the way to go. People love being outdoors in BC because it’s beautiful and people want to stay healthy and active, what better way to finish a long bike ride or hike than with a beer at the top of a mountain!

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    • You have to be 19 in BC to purchase Cigarettes & porn. Yes, 18 to vote.

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  92. I have just read the Island Health recommendations, and I am deeply concerned. Their recommendations would take us in completely the wrong direction, and I know how much weight the words of health professionals will carry.

    They recommended increasing prices, closing some liquor stores, tightening up the hours the rest are open, and increasing the drinking age to 21. The reason I am dead opposed to all these recommendations is that they will ramp up the “forbidden fruit” factor. The more you restrict access, the more people will want something, and when they do get it, they will be that much more likely to partake in binge drinking instead of responsible drinking.

    Increasing the drinking age to 21 will NOT prevent minors from getting alcohol (with the current age of 19, I still was loaded on my 14th birthday), and imposing a law on the people that is not supported by the people will only discredit the law as a whole.

    Restricting access to alcohol has been proven to increase irresponsible drinking many times, but I’ll use the Vancouver riots as an example: Liquor stores were closed earlier to restrict access and people who were going to be at outdoor venues were not allowed to drink in public (although I’m sure many did). How did people respond? They stocked up while the stores were open, and drank a lot before heading out. Fast forward a few hours and you see the end result of restricting access.

    Closing some liquor stores in an effort to restrict access will not accomplish anything except to make us all burn more gas. No Thanks.

    I urge the government of B.C. to ignore these recommendations and remember that the votes are in the general public, not the interest groups.

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    • Their recommendations are exactly what I’d expect from a special interest group representing health. There are far more voters leaning the other way.

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  93. I have read through the recommendations from our health services, and I’m going to have to disagree with one of their main points: the drinking age. While raising the drinking age looks good on paper, and, from a political perspective, it is easy to market as a “tough on underage drinking” policy, I do not believe it will have any beneficial effect. The US, for example, mostly has a drinking age of 21, and from my experience there underage binge drinking is at least if not more prevalent. Education and tolerance, not prohibition, is the answer.

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  94. I belong to a not for profit sporting group. We hold several events a year and our spectators have come to expect beer gardens. Due to the recent increases this is becoming more and more difficult to provide. The jump in prices are outragious! Now our license costs us quadrupal the price AND we are charged an EXTRA tax on all our drinks. We need to at least make our money back, and instead we hand all our profits over to the goverment. Please kindly take your hand out of our pocket and give ud a fighting chance!!

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  95. One area where we still live in 1947 is the requirements for obtaining a liquor license to sell 20 glasses of wine at a small music event. I belong to a small museum and occasionally we have music recitals for up to 35 guests. It would be nice to share a glass at the end of the afternoon but the cost and hassle means we do without. Why can a standing license not be issued for a years duration. It seems like the paperwork continues to take precedence.

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  96. There should be a review of pub licensing as opposed to restaurants that serve liquor . Both seem to sell food but neither make eating a requirement. The only requirement I am aware of is that minors are not permitted entry at a pub.
    I saw two women and a one year old child turned away from the Wicklaw pub in false creek last week. the place was empty and they had thought a visit in the sun on the deck would be pleasant but apparently the LCB does not agree.
    This is also an issue for families wanting to eat a meal together at the Backeddie Pub in Egmont bc

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  97. the current system of liquor markup is counterproductive both for the customer and the government looking to maintain or improve income. I have not bought a bottle of spirits in BC for 15 years due to the outrageous markup compared to the US or elsewhere. Alberta seems to have maintained there liquor income by taxing wine based on alcohol volume rather than wholesale cost of the bottle. This allows purchase of a more expensive bottle and bigger volumes of wine, without encouraging illegal import or circumventing BC’s markup by purchasing and importing from other venues.

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  98. I agree with laws and fines penalizing and discouraging public drunkeness and all around recklessness but this city needs to be a fun city and realize that less restrictions does not equal abuse. I believe that a while back the city said that drinks could not be sold for less than a set amount…do only people on a budget drink too much? That is who this penalizes. Also happy hours (finite times with great deals) would again allow those with less crazy Vancouver money to enjoy this city. Most people going to a restaurant for snacks and drinks between 3pm-6pm or whatever it may be are not there to get fall over drunk so again I fail to see why we cannot have a happy hour. Drinking on the beach is a tough one. In a place where safety is an issue, I feel torn although I myself have enjoyed the occasional hidden beverage on the beach and love to do that. I think here there would have to be a limit to people going in the water or drinking in areas that require a hike back to the roads (wreck beach or other tough to get to locations). Wreck is a whole conversation in itself. I personally love it but I indulged too much in my younger years and am happy I did not fall off the stairs and worry about that for others even though wreck is a great community and people are often there to help. I think patios closing early and bars closing at 2 or 3am means that we will never compare to Europe. I would have loved bars to stay open later when I was younger although now this doesn’t affect me so much. I think that beer and wine should absolutely be sold in super markets. As it is now it is not really that difficult to access if you need it but it would be much more convenient to get all items for a dinner party in one place and aside from ID’ing which is already done for cigarettes which are far more harmful and sold in grocery stores, I do not see an issue with it. So yeah loosen up Vancouver. Remember the Olympics? People were happy and drinking and controlled. I would love this city to be more fun…best case scenario bars on the beach in the summer months, worst case scenario we stop being the crazy cat lady hitting anyone trying to have fun with a broom.

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  99. I think we need to separate the notions of “public consumption of alcohol” from “public drunkenness.” Because right now, despite heavy-handed policing of the former, there’s still a lot of the latter happening anyway.

    Having a drink or two in the park with some friends, or walking down the street with a beer in hand on a hot day, is really harming no one. There are many places around the world, like Australia and Nevada to name a couple, where this is perfectly legal – though often this comes along with “no drinking zones” (usually in areas with high concentrations of bars). I would much rather see our police expend their energy on stopping drunk drivers or street violence than stopping people from consuming alcohol in public.

    I also agree with the other commenter that having a finite and universal “last call” only encourages more drunkenness, not less – “last call” means “order as many drinks as possible and chug them to make the night last longer” for many people. It might not make sense while sober, but after a few drinks it really does seem like the best idea ever. Allowing venues to serve until any hour spaces this out and encourages more responsible consumption. In addition to this, as someone who lives a few blocks from the Granville Street strip, I would much rather a slow trickle of people out of the bars than the insanity and chaos that is closing time right now.

    Finally, I’d like to see the province ban municipalities from forcing concentrations of bars and clubs through zoning laws. These are killing communities like the Davie Village which now has effectively one nightclub, and overwhelming others like the Granville entertainment district. Bars and clubs are great, but spread them out a bit!

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    • I bet if bars were to set their own hours, even 24 hours, patrons would go home without stocking up before ” closing ” or wa

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      • ” closing” or waiting an extra half hour for ” closing ”

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  100. I think that it is time that B.C. caught up to the “real world” in terms of selling beer and wine in grocery stores. Let Safeway, Super Valu, Save on Foods, or whoever, deal with the warehousing and display of beer and wine: the government is still going to collect its taxes on sales. I do think, however, that the sales of “hard” liquor/spirits should be confined to L.C.B. liquor stores. That way the government-employed (and unionized) workers would still be safe in their jobs.

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    • It isn’t my preference but I think it is a balanced approach and fairly likely.

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  101. I think B.C. should catch up with the “real world” as regards the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores. Let Safeway, Save On Foods, SuperValu, or whoever, deal with the warehousing and display of beer and wine: the government is still going to collect its taxes from sales. I do think, however, that sales of “hard” liquor should be confined to L.C.B. liquor stores. That way the government-employed (and unionized) workers would still be safe in their jobs.

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  102. I feel that alcohol should be more readily available in grocery stores/convenient stores and be offered at a cheaper price. Many underage individuals remain successful at obtaining liquor regardless of the laws, whether it be from someone willing to buy it for them, stealing it from their parents, purchasing it themselves with fake identification, etc. I know this because it was not so long ago my friends and I resorted to such measures. Laws or no laws, if people want to do something badly enough they will find a way to do it. Continuing to restrict British Columbians consumption of alcohol with ludricrously expensive and outdated laws simply drives them to find alternate and more creative ways to consume alcohol where/when it is restricted. I’ve observed countless occasions where indivuduals who fear receiving a ticket for public drinking or having their liquor poured out will try to consume as much as they can before they arrive at their destination. I think the currents laws actually support binge drinking in this way. The same goes for prices, people will also try to consume as much liquor as they can before heading out to a pub/bar/restaurant because of how expensive it will be. Also, if there were licensed establishments open later perhaps people wouldn’t feel the need to rush to order 3 more drinks before last call and try to slam them all before they start booting people out at closing. I think the province as a whole is more scared than anything to implement the kind of changes that are needed and clearly desired by the public.

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  103. I think we can go quite far in liberalizing our liquor laws without risking additional harm to the general public. The less we stigmatize availability an consumption venues, the less taboo it will become.
    I have had the great fortune to travel to many different parts of the world and I am always amazed, especially in Europe, at how liberal they are regarding liquor. In London you can take your pint of beer outside onto the sidewalk in front of a pub an enjoy some fresh air with your drink – and general mayhem does not occur because you have stepped outside! We should really look to Europe for inspiration for this overhaul. We want to be such a cosmopolitan destination (all over the province) yet we are saddled with puritan laws.

    I will add that I do appreciate the progress that has been made in the last 15 or so years in regards to liquor laws, but I believe that there is a lot more that can be done to liberalize them.

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  104. In Australia and NZ they have a few 24 hour bars. Instead of pounding down before closing and then all being on the street at the same time with nowhere to go folks can find an open bar ahead of time. Takes a lot of pressure off of crowd control. I have had a cold beer at McDonalds in a Florida shopping mall. Why not? It is hardly the venue to overindulge. I have bought draft beer from a concession stand on Jones beach in New York and that was 40 years ago. I have enjoyed a margarita slushy walking about a Granville Island type pier in Jacksonville. I have a photo of a drive through liquor store in Australia that shows two lanes: Browse and Express. I can walk around BC Place with a beer at a sports event but not a trade show. I have had vendor served wine at trade shows in Europe. You have a long way to go with overdue changes and many special interest groups that will fight you.

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  105. The current system of liquor markups discourages people from trying new and slightly more expensive types of wine/spirits. If you take a bottle of wine that the government purchases at $10. After taxes and markup (based at %125), it will sell for about $22.50. Affordable by most standards. But if the bottle cost about $15. The retail price will be about $33.75. The $5 difference is now $11.25. Now if you move those wines to a restaurant they will double to $45 and $67.50 respectively. The original 5 dollar difference is now 22.50 which can make it too expensive. If the difference on the retail/restaurant is still $5, more people will be encouraged to try the more expensive bottle.

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    • I totally agree with Don. Bring down the prices by reducing the revenue tax imposed by the BC Government. Not only bring our drinking regulations into the 20th century but align the price of alcohol with the rest of the free world.

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  106. The Government stores need to open on Sundays as well as having refrigerator’s installed in order to remain competitive. The staff are always friendly and knowledgable. They are constantly running from one end of the stores to the other; due to staffing cuts I am told. As well, a vast number of them work on call and do not receive the same Benefits that the full time employees( of which there are less and less). As a former resident of Alberta, I can tell you that privatization has NOT helped to reduce alcohol related deaths. As well, Most regions of BC(except far north) don’t have the good paying jobs that The Alberta Oil patch offers. I don’t want to see these great people displaced from their jobs simply because of a government’s difference in Ideology; Ie) The BC liberals don’t like unions. These people pay their taxes and support families as well as their local economies. Privitization is neither necessary nor is being able to buy liquor or beer at grocery stores or convenience stores. America has its fair share of problems. Don’t turn BC into another American state.

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    • I don’t like unions either but that’s not why I’d prefer grocery store access. I’d just like the convenience.

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  107. I have never understood the logic of a government run liquor store. It does not stop or reduce underage drinking. In our region we have a constant problem with teens drinking. It is adults that buy for them that is the problem. Employees hired by BCL are not physic tested to read minds any better than a grocery store clerks can judge cigarette sales. If you use the logic that BCL’s purpose is to reduce underage drinking, then they failed every day. They have no other purpose so they cab be replaced with private retailers. If the purpose of BCL is to slow down the consumption by normal folks – then they are a success. BCL stores frustrate me so much. I am not attracted to their corporate store image. I am not happy with their service. I only go there as their is no other choice. BCL jobs are boring and dull. Stocking shelves and standing at the register. Unlike retail jobs that people only stay a few years, BCL are long lasting jobs due to benefits. The pay is good and its a forever job in good and bad economies. The side effect is few people can do that job until retirement without growing tired and frustrated. Time to put them out of their misery and let them be employed in the retail world where they would not last a month with a sour attitude and slow performance. Is the purpose of BCL to employ people with benefits from high school to retirement? I hope that is not the only reason to justify the status quo for BCL.

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    • One of the issues with government stores is the pay is over scale for the job. The extra cost comes directly from tax payer’s pockets. We complain about overpaid Ferries executives and somehow rationalize overpaying stock clerks. I think the gov’t stores do a good job but at a cost.

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  108. Having beer and win available in grocery and/or convenience stores would be so much better than having to go into liquor stores and trying to avoid the drunks while making my choice. I am retired and it would be much more convenient to be able to buy everything in one place as I don’t drive and walk or take transit everywhere. This is already being done, in some cases in pilot mode, in other provinces and they don’t appear to have collapsed into a social oblivian. Most countries in the world are far more civilized than us in this regard. Few of us bother to eat out any more if we plan to have any alcohol. We just take the wine or whatever home, order in food and put in a DVD or otherwise entertain at home. Victoria has gone further and further into no-fun mode over the past few years. If I’m forced to endure the inconvenience and boredom of constant races and cycling events I would at least like to have some relief by being able to buy some wine more easily!

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  109. I have a problem with really over-priced wine in BC. It does not seem affordable to buy but the cheapest wine for your Sunday dinner.
    It does also not seem fair that you pay way more tax on an expensive bottle of wine if the intent is to curb alcoholism. A system that taxes the amount of alcohol in a beverage seems more appropriate in this case.

    As a consumer I have liked Alberta’s liquor laws the best with flat rates on wine.

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    • What is really strange is our wine prices have created a huge u-brew industry where you bottle cases of tax free wine. That wine is stockpiled in a closet and cheap enough to justify opening just one more. If our liquor store wine were more reasonably taxed then fewer folks would make tax free wine and the Province’s revenue would increase. There is an old adage: Bare down by easing up.

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  110. The biggest change we need is reduced taxes on alcohol but the government would NEVER do that. It angers me to see what a case of beer costs in Washington State or next door in Alberta. As for people who say “we’re not ready”, who are you to dictate to others? If the “aura” around alcohol was diminished, people would act more responsibly. As long as people are forced to drink in holding pens like some apartheid state, booze will always carry a “taboo” stigma.

    Oh yeah, and another thing: The BC liquor control and distribution people need to be put in their place. How is it that a small group of taxpayer-funded government employees can decide import levels of foreign beer, for example? The liquor laws here are draconian, protectionist and closed-minded. Religious zealots, secret lobbyists and self-righteous hypocrites continue to try their best to keep “regular” people in bondage.

    Step away from being some restrictive, open up the BC border to all product that people can buy in neighboring States and Alberta. Quit being so chicken!

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    • Yep. Its not chicken, its well understood self interest. Problem is that the incumbents (BC liquor board, owners of licenses) will fight tooth an nail and raise everything from patriotism to fetal alcohol syndrome to keep the cushy perch. Its all about them.

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  111. I think we shiuld keep the retail daking as is now except open all BC Liquor stores 7 days a week with more extended hours. Also add cold storage in government stores. This will satisfy public demand and keep BC safe and prices stable.

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    • BC Liquor stores are already out numbered 5 to 1. Eventually they will be gone simply because they are expensive to operate. I like them, but it is daft to spend the cost of retail when you can let lower cost retailers pay the tax, storage, transport and take the product to market.

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  112. TOPIC: BC Liquor Sales Agents & BC Off-Shore Manufacturers alcohol marketing allowances

    As a BC small business man who has just started manufacturing Vodka for the BC marketplace, I was stunned to hear that I can’t use my own product for marketing purposes.

    The Kealy Beverage Company Inc is a fully BC owned company and we contract a French distillery to make our Vodka, Kealy’s Moonshine which we are currently only selling in BC. We do this mainly due to wanting to use French wheat as ingredients.

    There is a LAW/POLICY that states that, for marketing purposes I am only allowed to bring in 3L of my product to educate retailers, give samples at events and educate our own sales agents. Currently there are approx 701 Private liquor stores, 450 government stores and 10,000 liquor licensed venues who are our customers in BC.

    How are we supposed to educate our customers and spread samples to our target market with just 3L? The answer is we cannot. So the Government currently forces us to pay full government mark-up and taxes on product they know we will be giving away for free.

    If I was just to do a taste testing in 25% of the government stores this year and only go through one 750ml bottle each time that would still be 84L of vodka used, 81L of that the government will profit from on the backs of small business.

    If it was a small amount of profit it might be bearable. However if I’m making a 750ml bottle of Vodka for $5.00 and selling it to the LDB for $9.00, it will be going into the liquor store for approx $40.00. So instead of giving away samples at $5.00 a bottle I have to pay 700% more and then give it away for free as marketing samples.

    We understand that this sample amount cannot be an unlimited number, but can we please have this changed to a reasonable number. Just attending a large event can use 14L or so of spirits and the fact that the government is profiting both through Mark-Up & Taxes on product they know is being given away for free seems unjust. Juice beverage companies that give samples at Grocery Stores and Costco go through hundreds of liters a year dwarfing what BC alcohol producers sample amounts.

    Our “ask” is for the government to make a reasonable “annual allowance” for Agents and Off-shore Manufacturing BC Companies to access their own product in the BC bonded warehouses that can be used solely for marketing purposes.

    It’s hard enough for us, a Local BC Small Business to enter this market with such huge players. Please help us thrive and allow us to market with samples at our cost to manufacture.

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  113. I lived in Québec for over 50 years and yet, when I moved to BC, my perception was that liquor was much more available here than there, despite always having purchased beer in the grocery store. The big difference is that very little (expensive and low quality) wine and no hard liquor is sold outside the official Québec liquor board stores. In BC we already have a higher than average booze intake than Québec, and a different consumption pattern (much less wine here). As well, there is clearly a different drinking culture, which you can’t just export by changing the liquor laws. To be crass about it, it seems we have not mastered the ability to drink sensibly in large groups in BC yet.

    Liquor is already available here every day in private liquor stores to late at night. Any more availability will just bump up our consumption and the make the increase in injuries and illness that we have seen since private stores proliferated in BC worse.

    If people want the Québec model, it would mean closing all the private liquor stores and allowing only beer and a very limited selection of overpriced, low quality wines on the grocery shelf. Slim chance of that, I would think.

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    • I don’t believe increased pricing (more tax) and restricting the number of outlets has worked to change the irresponsibility of the minority of those who are. We drink in BC because we are so highly taxed and we are treated like children who need to be protected from themselves around alcohol.

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  114. Differances in opinions .I still say bc isnt ready ,I hate to say most people arent reaponaible enough here yet.Ive seen reports that say underage drinking has gone up drinking and driving has gone up . Do you want to be in your grocery store with your kids and there is a drunk stumbling in to find booze then he barfs or some worse or the poor minor worker having to deal with that besides that too the underage worker would have to be fired cause u have to be 19 to sell booze.Its not broke why fix and drinking at the beach province would need to hire people to monitor cause all it would take is one ro be drinkinh then drown for a law suite at tax payers expense. Leave it at liqour stores were people are trained to deal with drunks and know how to deal to cut them off

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    • This type of approach to all aspects of life would ensure we still use horses as the main mode of transportation and use candles to light our mud huts.

      I’ve grown up in Europe where liquor is everywhere including grocery stores and no one cares. Kids are thought from a young age that alcohol is not a big deal and its part of everyday life. There are less cases of binge drinking among teens because its not seen as forbidden fruit that is withheld from them. And even here with all our current protectionist laws teens can get liquor anytime, there is always a way around. So the laws to don’t work to prevent teens from drinking and yet all the adults in BC are inconvenienced and harassed by police for having a beer on the beach just to use one example or having to burn extra fuel to go to a separate store to buy beer or a bottle. Perhaps we should look at this from a greenhouse gas emissions perspective, how much less fuel would BC burn if we eliminated the need to drive to a liquor store, if we could just buy our beer at the grocery store? Most people are reasonable, the few bad apples will always be present but they are in the minority, and whether we sell liquor at a designated liquor store or the grocery store that will make no difference.

      In short, liberalize our alcohol laws, open it up to competition, get rid of the government bureaucracy around it. There is a reason why alcohol is much cheaper in the US and abroad.

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  115. “WHY REINVENT THE WHEEL WHEN IT ALREADY EXISTS?”

    I lived in San Fran for 3 years in the early 2000s and wondered why we couldn’t put on civilized events like they do there. My comments are geared more towards the liquor laws during events and festivals. Please read to the end of this comment to review my suggestions. We need to understand why we had problems in the past before can develop guidelines for the future.

    WHY WE ARE, WHERE WE ARE TODAY!

    I believe many of the strict rules pertaining to alcohol at events, and for that matter…even getting permits to put on an event…were a reaction to so many events in the 80s going sideways because of the rowdy few people ruining it for so many. This mentality created the rep of the “No Fun City”.

    There were very few events in the Lower Mainland back then and they tended to be less of the small neighborhood event variety and more of the major city event. Therefore the young and rowdy would flock in from the burbs to attend these “few” events with a goal to get drunk and party. The Seafest, Fireworks, Greek Days to name a few. Recently the government officials have loosened up the strict policies and regulations and obtain permits, so events and festivals have finally become more common place throughout the Lower Mainland. Therefore the armies of young party-cats from the burbs do not flock together on mass to attend the few major two or three events anymore. Rowdiness is not as much of a problem as it used to be since there are more events and they are more spread out throughout the Lower Mainland. Potential trouble makers with a goal to “just” get drunk and party are now spread throughout a number of smaller events and with less numbers they don’t seem to cause as much of a problem and/or are easier to handle by security.

    Just look at how well behaved the crowd is now at the major fireworks show in Vancouver. We had just as many police…if not more…back in the day…but it was chaos. The recent NHL Playoff problem was an example of the old school mentality of the young party-cat people flocking to one major event that was nothing like any other event. Hence they all came downtown to party and get drunk. If they want to get drunk for a one major event…they will find a way. Nothing to do with the city allowing alcohol to be served at an event or not.

    SUGGESTION:

    Now that we have more events spread out and don’t have the potential trouble makers swarming to the few 2 or 3 events, we should loosen up on the liquor laws. Even the events where we are now allowed to drink we have to stand like cattle in a fenced in area. So people just chug as much as they can before they get out of their pen to take in the event or festival …hopefully with a buzz that will last for the rest of the event. This is just a recipe for getting drunk fast. Let us walk and mingle around the festivals or events sipping and drinking at a regular pace. Implement some restrictions like having to buy food with a beer/wine or one glass per customer per serving, etc. (Learn more about restrictions from my suggestion below)

    So my comment is “Why try to reinvent the wheel in our own void when solutions and systems have already been created and successfully maintained elsewhere?” I suggest we put together a representative group of people to visit 2 or 3 major cities in North America similar to Vancouver with a goal to meet key individuals, officials, event planners, security, police, etc. Learn from them … what has worked and what hasn’t worked…from pre to post events. Formulate best practices from all that information and THEN start to build our systems, solution’s, policies that will guide us for many years to come. Make sure all the key stake holders have their input heard and respected.

    The group we send should be made up of representatives from all areas of interest groups or stake holders who are involved with creating, managing and policing events and festivals. For example; a city official, a rep from the police force, someone who has experiences creating and managing events (especially in a city core populated environment), a person representing the food and beverage field to see how local businesses can reap the most benefits from events, etc. If possible, these attendees could be funded separately from their own organizations versus just all on the government dime.

    THANKS for taking the time to read all his and thanks for offering an opportunity for someone like me to put in my two cents. Good Luck!!

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    • I sure like where you are leading, but I disagree with how you suggest we get there. I see no need to make a study. Just make the change.

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  116. I would like to see more variety in our choice of liquor. There are hundreds of products available in Washington State that we just don’t carry I would like to be able to have a drink at a concert and walk around with it – not be forced to sit inside a fenced off area/feel like I’m in a cage. Alcohol should be available at all public events. The cost and rules around special occasion licenses don’t work. You would promote a lot more events and actually make them profitable if you change this. Let us drink outdoors at places like the beach or a park. Let restaurants and pubs serve later. I want to be able to buy alcohol in grocery and convenience stores. Let us have a drink in movie theatres, concerts, hair salons – everywhere. Allow drink specials. The taxes are way too much on alcohol. Open the whole thing up so it’s not such a big deal to youth to drink and deal with the social problems through education and addiction support. This needs to start in grade school.

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  117. Beer and wine should be sold in grocery stores for convenience and monitored like tobacco. This works great in other countries! Also there should be some allowance of alcohol in public like in parks but the alcohol must be in a plastic cup to reduce the broken glass issue like in New Orleans. Please lower the taxes on alcohol and restaurants/bars should get the wholesale price so we aren’t paying triple the retail value!

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  118. I don’t think that liquor should be sold anywhere other than in liquor stores and restaurants. Having it sold in grocery stores and convenience stores makes it too easy for minors to be able to buy it and therefore drink it even though they are minors and it is against the current law. I think that we have enough liquor stores already that are close enough to the grocery and convenience stores that people don’t have to go out of the way to shop there. An example of that is in Admirals Walk there is a Thriftys there and then a liquor store right in the mall. I am glad that the government is wanting public input on this topic.

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  119. Travelling through BC with my two young kids last summer for 2 months, it was always disappointing when we were unable to have lunch or dinner in some of the best restaurants, in the best locations (i.e. patios) because these places were off-limits to minors. Perhaps the new law could take the approach that all restaurants/pubs are open to all, so long as minors are accompanied by parents, except in the late evening?

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  120. Would it be possible to have certain beaches/parks, during certain times (eg. 3pm-sunset) where drinking was permitted and legal. I am not asking for all beaches, just specific ones in specific areas, similar to how Wreck Beach is a nude beach but not Spanish Banks.

    I currently feel that the current way these laws are enforced discrimination by age anyways. As a woman in her mid twenties if I am discretely drinking wine at a picnic, police will come and pour it out. However when I am out with my in-laws for a picnic we never even get questioned, even if it is the same location and law enforcement comes by.

    I think by allowing it in certain places it may be easier to enforce and people may actually respect it more.

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  121. I’ve been to Montreal recently, and when I went to the music festival Osheaga, I found that alcohol was allowed anywhere on site, not just in a beer garden. I think that something should be changed in BC so that festivals don’t have to have a separate area for liquor.

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    • Good idea. One drinks less walking about than when standing in a corral.

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  122. I think that minros should be allowed in pubs for dinner with family and such. And then when a appropriate time comes maybe 9pm or somewhere in that respective time; they minor would have to leave. Silly to not let a minor in a bar for food round lunch time.

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  123. Please look at stats of booze realted issues in other places that already do this crime is higher underage drinking higher drinking and driving is higher. If things were like europe here for decades it would be ok but sorry to say we arent ready to have booze in gorcery stores. Alberta is a good example drinking and driving it hirer underage drinking higher yes I said it once but I want it to sink in, and being able to drink at the beach well we would need to hirer someone to monitor it cause all it would take is someone drinking and swimming and drowning and then a big law suite which the tax payers would have to pay.If it not broke why fix. We are all way to irresponsible Im sorry to say.

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    • Wide open is one extreme. Yours is another. Somewhere in between is balance.

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  124. I accept the issue is complex, and this complexity can’t be reflected in any diagram of interesting tidbits about liquor laws around the world. While living in Montreal for most of the last 2 years, and having had a wonderful personal experience with the liquor laws there, I wondered what would happen in BC if we simply harmonized our laws with theirs. I would not expect the same outcomes because of differences in context between the two provinces, and perhaps there are disadvantages of Quebec’s liquor laws in Quebec that I do not realize, but I would like a more in-depth discussion of the question when we reach the “ideas from other jurisdictions” topic:
    What would work, and what wouldn’t, if Quebec’s liquor laws were applied in BC?

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    • Good idea regarding other jurisdictions. Will do. Thanks for the suggestion Dave.

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  125. I believe that liquor should be sold in grocery and convenience stores and regulated like tobacco. I also believe that liquor sales should be allowed past 11pm, which is currently regulated.

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  126. The exorbitant cost to non-profit organization for serving wine or beer at their event, small amateur theatre groups for example, discourage responsible imbibing and the non-profit group’s benefits. These groups are a huge benefit to society and I have yet to see a brawl or irresponsible behaviour over a disagreement about the director’s interpretation of the show.
    These costs for a few glasses of wine or beer give the government an image of a financial piranha on organizations that are trying to build a community of a disintegrating society.
    Not prohibition or prohibitive financial punishing of groups that are building a stronger community to live in.
    I look forward to seeing if this approach is going to lead to a reasoned policy and procedure or if it will be just window dressing that will be put on a shelf.

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  127. We should be able to buy liquor in any grocery store. If the employees id everyone then it would not make it any easier for kids to buy it than it is now. It would also be nice to have a legitimate drink at the beach or park. Those who can’t act like adults shouldn’t be allowed to infringe on my rights to behave myself and enjoy myself. Our liquorlaws are beyond rridiculous. We’re all treated like potential idiots because of a few immature idiots who can’t behave themselves and act like adults. When I travel to the usa, I can buy liquor in any grocery store, which is very convenient, and I don’t hear anything on the news about a vastly higher rate of drunken behaviours than we have at home. Why can’t we be treated like responsible adults and those who act irresponsibility face consequences?

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  128. Liquer store should be open on sunday and longer, especially Friday and Saturday.
    I would prefere to sale alcohol in convenient stores, but for reasonable price; otherwise, more liquer stores/area.
    Let people drink on public places. It is better to see a drunk person than a person on hard drugs. Also, many people like to eat their food outdoor.

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  129. Here are a couple of my thoughts on the subject. Please note that this is how I understand how the process works in BC. I have had to weed through a fair amount of “crap” to get here.

    I believe that there is considerable misinformation being fed to the general pubic about how liquor is controlled in BC. Particularly from the BCGEU, and government representatives that do not want to see changes in how liquor is distributed today. I am continually hearing that prices are higher in Alberta, and that is being used as ammunition to keep BC form following in Alberta’s footsteps. But every time I go there, I am able to purchase liquor at a price that is far less then what we are forced to pay in BC.

    My understanding is that the BCLDB markup liquor on the wholesale end not the retail. It then discounts the liquor sold to private retailers at about 16 percent. This allows the private store to make up to 16 percent profit on the sale, where the public store does not.

    The BC government nets about 900 million over the last year from liquor markups. This is after paying between 200-300 million for wages, leases, operating expenses etc. Therefore 18-25 percent of the gross went to support the retail and wholesale end of the organization. So correct me if I am wrong, but we are paying over 200 million to support union workers and to compete against private business.

    If we are to continue with government run stores then they should be managed as if they were private. They should have to purchase their stock like a private store and pay employees, leases, hyro, etc from the profits made within the store. If they cannot be profitable then shut them down.

    Also, I have always been disappointed by the fact that I cannot order a single bottle of whisky, that the BC government will not distribute. If I want a bottle of scotch and no store in BC carries it, then I should be allowed to order it online from another province or country and have it delivered to my house.

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    • Kudos to the provincial government for opening up discussion on their wine and spirits distribution system.
      As a resident of the province of Ontario, I WISH I could order some of your wines and now spirits, possibly direct from the wine maker or distiller, and have them delivered straight to my home. You’ve got some great wine & spirits there.
      Hopefully the provincial governments across Canada can address this issue.

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      • Welcome to the conversation! Thanks for your input. And we would love to see Ontarians be able to enjoy more BC wine!

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  130. Liquor or beer should be sold at the grocery store or corner stores,it would be no different in asking for ID when someone is purchasing cigarettes in BC which can be easily regulated by the province
    Prices need to be reduced or taxes on liquor and beer the same amount of tax revenue will be collected probably more overall
    Minors should be allowed in the bar with their parents for brunch
    Bars,pubs and restaurants should also be able to have happy hour(s) again,several provinces in Canada have happy hours, in BC it’s only certain liquors or alcohol on certain days,more options should be offered to the paying customer instead of the token 2 or 3 drinks specials max per day
    BC is way behind the rest of the world and Canada with its liquor laws which need to be updated and reflect what the paying customer/taxpayer wants in this province

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  131. I moved here 5 years ago from AB and it is like I am living in a different world when it come to liquor. How can 1 Province over laws and selling relating to alcohol be so different and antiquated?

    Ill start by saying liquor stores in AB are open 364 days a year (closed X-mas day) and usually 10am – 2am. They also have WAY more products to choose from and much cheaper prices. In case you are NDP, this is what happens in a competitive market system versus a monopoly with no competition. I was back in Calgary this summer and a liquor store had a bottle of rye & vodka in their flyer for $9.99.

    SO then the question is what then is the result of this great selection, great convenience, better pricing? Must be drunks roaming the Province causing trouble every day all week long…. nope, nothing different.

    What about Gov tax revenues? I understand that tax revenue collected went up with the AB government because they just tax a flat rate on every bottle sold instead of a progressive percentage tax like BC. With more convenience, more selection, & better prices, purchases increased, including people from BC & SK buying there, as well less need to go into the US to purchase. The Gov also does not have to deal with any “bricks & mortar” or employees, strikes, pensions, benefits.

    I don’t need it in grocery stores but would like it to be available there, but more selection, better prices, more convenience with increased tax revenue seems like a no brainer to me?

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  132. If alcohol abuse creates costs to our already expensive and stretched healthcare system, then the government should control its marketing. Most people who drink alcohol don’t limit themselves to a glass of wine here or there but like to drink daily, and having alcohol available at your local 7 eleven is just going to increase its abuse.
    If the consensus is to take alcohol out of Liquor Stores and into grocery stores, then the tax should be increased substantially. Why should my healthcare dollars pay for people’s bad health choices and lets not forget the extra policing. If you as an adult cannot make the right choices, the government should do it for you.

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    • I totally disagree with your assumption that all or most people drink to excess. Where is your data from? It is not my experience in my circle of acquaintances. When Holland got rid of their prohibition laws on marijuana there was no more or less use than here in Canada per capita.

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    • This is simply not true. Study after study has proven that moderate alcohol consumption (and I think it is fair to assume moderate applies to the vast majority) confers health benefits and lower rates of mortality than absainers or heavy drinkers. However, sugary drinks, candy, fatty junk foods and snacks have no nutritional value and contribute significantly to incidences of obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and so on. Just the other day a Dutch study concluded that sodas and sugary drinks are highly toxic and should come with a health warning. So, the rum in that rum & coke is actually good for you but the coke is toxic. But we are only conditioned to believe the opposite. This is another red herring argument that the opponents of free enterprise and free choice will continue to roll out.

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    • This is simply not true. Study after study has proven that moderate alcohol consumption (and I think it is fair to assume moderate applies to the vast majority) confers health benefits and lower rates of mortality than abstainers or heavy drinkers. However, sugary drinks, candy, fatty junk foods and snacks have no nutritional value and contribute significantly to incidences of obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and so on. Just the other day a Dutch study concluded that sodas and sugary drinks are highly toxic and should come with a health warning. So, the rum in that rum & coke is actually good for you but the coke is toxic. But we are only conditioned to believe the opposite. This is another red herring argument that the opponents of free enterprise and free choice will continue to roll out.

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  133. It’s a sad fact that liquor consumption is often related to domestic abuse, rape and death related accidents when driving. I fear that easier access to alcohol will correlate to an increase in the above negative components of our society.

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    • In Europe where alcohol is readily available, these crimes are down compared to our issues here. When you demystify the consumption of alcohol, it become less taboo and more common place. It may take a generation to sink in, but it’s high time we caught up to the rest of the world.

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      • BC isnt ready sorry to say the mentalities are different here then europe for every one drunk they have we have 50 and their punishments more severe .We here are way to irrisponsible

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        • How do people make up these statistics? 1 there equals 50 here? Fortunately you anti drink folks are a minor percentage. I’ll make up a stat to make my point. Temperance folks are well less than a fraction of a percentage of the mainstream.

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  134. Wine and beer should be available in grocery stores and they should be allowed to discount the price. Alcohol sold in BC is at least double the price in most of the USA. Costco should also be allowed to sell alcohol and the government should get out of the business of business. Government income from alcohol sales would probably increase with lower prices as most low income earners would be able to now purchase items. Also generally business is more efficient at doing anything that government is involved in

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  135. The prices are absurd even compared to Alberta, and they collect a comparable amount of liquor tax per capita as we do.

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  136. I strongly believe that all types of liquor should be available in grocery stores anywhere in the province. Along with the policy should be mandatory id for all ages. I was recently asked for id in California even though I am over 60 as it is just policy in that store. That would remove the pressure from staff.
    I believe that liquor prices are too high in B.C. I spent time in Denmark this spring and even though it is a highly taxed country most international wines were half to two thirds the cost that they are in here. B.C wines in particular should have taxes reduced to make them more affordable in B.C. and to promote their consumption. Don’t we want our products to be promoted in our province?
    No more that two to three drinks per person should be allowed in public places, at least until the general public actually begins to act like adults. We do not have the same social brakes on our public behaviour as Europeans – Yet. There is a greater belief in personal freedom here than in other countries that is obvious especially in smaller jurisdictions (where I live part-time).
    There should be no liquor sales in gas stations due to drinking/driving enforcement issues especially out of the bigger cities.
    There should be a greater and ongoing advertising campaign concerning the toxicity of alcohol/physical and emotional signs of overconsumption/Canadian alcoholism rates etc. etc. There should also be lots of alcohol treatment information available immediately, not after the fact as was done with problem gambling.

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  137. As an event planner I’m thrilled that changes have been made for events requiring SOL’s by creating catering endorsements, that’s a major step – especially for corporate clients bringing events, conferences and business to our province.

    There are some other event related changes that would be ideal. Currently with SOL’s clients are not often encouraged to purchase from local island wineries or breweries with their SOL. They are often looking for local island products, however it seems that because the government liquor stores do not carry most of these products, they seem unaware, uninterested and uninspired to share the local stories or promote our island talents. It would be fabulous if government stores offered a resource to those purchasing SOL’s such as an “Island Wine Guide”, or provide their staff with better training/local knowledge, or start to carry more local product.

    Our private stores are not allowed to provide product or service for those with approved SOL’s – these stores carry island products, offer thoughtful service options such as delivery, ice, and service oriented hospitality which often seems missing from behind the government stores desk. (I have had clients quite offended by some of the inappropriate comments made by government staff and general focus on rules and not service).

    As an event planner – it would be great to have a dedicated event professional at the Signature Stores with a focus on hospitality, service and a drive to make events less daunting for clients. Over the years it’s been exhausting educating clients as to how to manage their SOL’s with inexperienced government staff that give them inaccurate advice, are then turned away at the police station, and then have to resubmit applications.

    I work with many destination couples planning their wedding from other countries, provinces etc. – the catering endorsement has also been a great help with sorting these out, however there are still many hurdles and too much paperwork for clients wishing to spend their wedding budget in BC.

    The rules regarding SOL’s on Vancouver Island are stringent and more clear since revisions to the guidelines – however, once you leave the greater Victoria area, many cities and islands are playing by completely different rules (or lack of) that leaves me wondering why it’s so inconsistent.

    As an event planner I would like to have an alliance with the government and/or private store(s) that strives for service, event success, guest experience and support as we celebrate, gather, and educate at events, conferences and functions.

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  138. I agree on several earlier posts. Beer and wine should be available at grocery/convenience stores.

    Beer and wine consumption should be allowed in public places but the same rules apply with no public intoxication, drinking driving etc. A glass of wine or cold beer is great on a picnic or day at the beach. People do it regardless of the law, it would be nice to enjoy a drink without hiding it like teenagers. Tourists all over the world enjoy a drink at the beach or picnics and public mischief and intoxication don’t seem to be big problems. Loosen up the rules, let us be grown-ups.

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    • I fully agree that beer, wine and spirits should be for sale from any outlet. I also fully agree that drinking in public should be allowed in almost all areas where it is safe to do so. Parks, hiking trails, campsites are all wonderful places to responsibly have a drink or two…..without any danger to the public in any way shape or form.

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  139. I agree beer n wine from grocery stores and gas station like other countrys be great then driving all over the place to setup ur bbq or evening with ur friesnds and drinkin in public should be allowed as well but public intoxication still be delt with as it is now

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  140. Having lived and worked in Europe, I enjoyed the ambiance of neighbourhood pubs and plentiful local licensed restaurants (with out door sections). Neighbourhood pubs/restaurants become meetings places for friends and neighbours and because of there proximity discourage the use of automobiles.

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  141. After months and months of thorough research on opening a microbrewery in BC, my husband and I decided NOT to do so. One of the biggest reasons was the extremely high provincial taxes and the frustrations dealing with BC’s LDB.

    -> Current provincial taxes are just too high for the little guy that wishes to supply only the local market.

    -> The LDB is too compartmentalised and the right hand never talks to the left.

    -> Significant discrepancies between exist between how one microbrewery is taxed to another and to another.

    With the current beer taxing structure and LDB structural organisation, BC is NOT open for business.

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  142. My experience with BC liquor laws is:
    a) not being able to buy booze at 7-11
    b) being told by police officers to dump out my beer while having fun with friends at the beach.

    I think littering in a public area should be a very serious offence (ticket), but drinking a beer should be equally legal as drinking any other bottled beverage in a public area.

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  143. Hiyo. I only briefly skimmed through some of the above comments to get an idea of peoples concerns. I am a LDB government store employee and thought i could lend my perspective. The 2 main concerns in many comments ( skimmed remember ) are prices, and being treated like a bunch of babies who can’t handle their own lives. I would absolutely agree that we need to emulate a more European philosophy towards alchohol and life in general. Alchohol use does not grow or decrease due to legality, it will do those things regardless. This is a fact. European nations have dealt with these things longer and have realized this. Unless you are going to outlaw alchohol entirely you are being a hypocrite if you aren’t going to accept the problems that are inherent in selling an addictive substance. As for price. I agree that prices are too high, especially when our dollar is on par roughly with the US dollar. I think that there should be some taxes, and alchohol raises a lot of funds for the government. How are they spending those dollars? Not always well. Some people think that the pay scale for employees like myself is the problem. Wages were renegotiated several years ago and the starting wage is much lower than it used to be. The job is not the money job it used to be. The work is not overly difficult and is largely based on customer service. I do not want an all private system, and the main reason whether i work there or not, is that i want some bc residents to have a wage they can live on. These people are not making that much money, but the fact that they can live on their wage ( not extravegantly ) they can contribute and stimulate the economy. Why does every job have to be broken down to the bare minimum. These jobs are unionized, and even if the union gets bullied around more than it should, this situation was created in part to acheive a fair livable wage. I think that everybody should be getting more money, so the idea of selling out assets for a one time gain ( which the goverment will brag about as saving money ) infuriates me. I would like the prices to come down a bit, but if government can use our money properly ( if ) i think we could accomplish a lot, and i will pay it. There are many angles and opinions, and i can understand most but if anyone reads this, hopefully i made sense. Cheers

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    • You make sense from your perspective. My perspective is I am subsidizing your standard of living by overpaying the position. I’m not trying to be harsh, but private business would have lower costs. That’s why I favour getting government out of retail.

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  144. Beers and wine should be sold in grocery stores and gas stations like most civilized countries in the world.

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  145. Beers and wine should be sold on grocery stores and gas stations like most civilized countries in the world.

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  146. Two simple changes

    1) End the monopoly on liquor sales. Allow sales in grocery stores, gas stations etc.

    2) Allow people to consume beer and wine in public areas and enforce public drunkenness laws. Most people don’t have a problem with responsible people having a glass of wine while out for an evening stroll. However, intoxicated people causing problems in public are not to be tolerated. Wether they got intoxicated at home, in a bar, in a pub or in a park is moot point really. Recently at Diner en Blanc event that I attended had to be located in a fenced off area with privately hired security. This increased the price of the event and required it to be in a less desirable location simply so couples could enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner.

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  147. Based on very many years working and living both at home and abroad, here is my input:

    1. I have lived in a Moslem country where it was not illegal to have a case of beer on the beach. I did not notice any behavioural differences compared to a “dry” BC beach.

    2. I have lived in countries where beer and wine is sold in supermarkets. I did not see any drunks either in the store or outside in the car parks.

    3. I lived in countries that allowed alcohol to be served by restaurants with children sitting at the same children. I did not see any drunk children.

    4. I raised my own children mostly overseas, and whenever we had wine or beer, if they asked for a sip, they got one. We made no big deal of it. They were horrified at Canadian university when they saw large numbers of students on reaching drinking age binge drinking throughout the year, thus failing that year, and many dropped out. None of my children are alcoholic. They drink responsibly.

    5. I lived in countries where “drinking hours” are unlimited. I did not see groups of drunks causing the street scenes associated with all bars closing at the same enforced time.

    6. In many countries alcohol is served in restaurant gardens and at sidewalk tables in plain view of the passing public. I did not see any passerby being overcome by the sight of people drinking alcoholic beverages.

    Final comment – drug deals are brazenly open on our city streets, yet the police need all manner of requirements to fulfill before attempting an arrest. But take a step onto the street with a beer can in hand, and the arrest will be immediate. Seems to indicate our attitude to alcohol is a little rooted in the days of the Temperance League?

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    • Excellent comment… here, here… let British Columbians be adults on the world stage and get rid of puritan liquor laws.

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  148. I regularly visit the Kingsgate Mall BC liquor store in Vancouver. I cannot believe the amount of social problems that plague this location. I have witnessed staff being accosted, cursed at, and spat on. Blatant theft is a regular event. Those of you who think these employees make too much money should walk in their shoes for a week. I couldn’t do this thankless job and neither could probably most of you. It is only because they receive ongoing training and support that they are able to deal with these problems and run a reasonably efficient store in the middle of chaos.

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    • A better run store would initiate controls to protect its employees. No private store would last without controls.

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  149. This is the internet age and we need laws that reflect that reality.

    There are several liquors which I personally have been unable to import because there are no local agents.

    An individual should be permitted to import reasonable quantities of any alcohol for their own use.

    There should be NO requirement for a local importer, agent or other intermediary.

    If we are willing to pay the taxes, why should we be punished because a product we enjoy does not have a marketing machine behind it?

    To say you can only bring back 2 bottles or 2 cases of wine from a once in a lifetime trip to Australia is arbitrary.

    If the alcohol is for your own personal use, and you are willing to pay the taxes, who looses? NO ONE!

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    • THe government would lose its monopoly as THE ONLY importer, and thus their ability to force all of us to pay ridiculous, astronomical
      prices for wine.
      You might bring in a case of something good and reasonably priced,
      and they would lose tax. They also lose their ability to protect
      local winemakers.

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      • Increasing the duty free limits to 2 bottles of liquor or a case of wine would do very little harm to the local wine producers or tax revenue. But since the limit is controlled federally it cannot be changed. What BC can do it set a flat tax on overages. Maybe $2 per bottle of wine and $5 for each bottle of liquor to a maximum of 12 bottles. Alberta has this type of system.

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        • The limit is not controlled federally with respect to the provincial taxes and markup, only with respect to federal duties, which are cents on the dollar. The CBS guards act as agents for the province for the purposes of collecting liquor board markups. Each province has a different structure (AB changes a small flat fee on each bottle).

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  150. At last, a chance for public input…excellent!

    1. Pubs – anyone should be able to open a neighbourhood pub with no more bureaucracy involved than if opening a clothing store or a hair salon or any other retail business. The hotel lobby has for many years done everything it can to restrict non-hotel pubs, this has to stop. And if there ends up being a pub on every corner, so be it – natural market forces will soon enough determine which ones survive and which don’t.

    1a. Pub laws – arbitrary restrictions on seating capacity (e.g. maximum allowed is 125 occupants even if the fire regulations would allow 200) have to go, if this has not already been done.

    1b. Pub laws – there is still a rule on the books, I believe, that states everybody has to be out of a bar or pub within half an hour after last call. Why? If an establishment wants to remain open after liquor sales have ended for the night it should be allowed to; and a useful side-effect would be to mitigate the “bar rush” where everyone winds up on the street at the same time when the bars close.

    1c. Pub laws – many municipalities require neighbourhood pubs to provide a certain amount of parking; yet part of the point of neighbourhood pubs is that they be close enough together that anyone (unless in a very rural area) is within an easy walk of one and thus does not need to bring a car.

    1d. Pub laws – allow short-term drink specials a.k.a. “happy hours”.

    1e. Pub laws – it seems the laws regarding “tied houses” (i.e. pubs that only serve one brewer’s beer) are being relaxed a bit for the micro-breweries; I say go all the way and remove those rules entirely.

    2. “Public” drinking – there is nothing morally wrong with having a beer at the beach, or wine at a park picnic, or a cocktail in a motorhome parked at a campsite. Get rid of all laws that prohibit such. The mischief and cause-disturbance and drunk-driving laws can take care of those who would be idiots.

    3. Minors – far too much emphasis is put on the magical age of 19 (and by the way it’s 18 in most other parts of Canada). Parents or equivalent should be able to buy their 14-year-old a beer in a restaurant if they want to; and if young people learn early on how to drink socially and responsibly rather than having to sneak around those habits will more often then not carry on into adulthood.

    4. As far as possible keep private enterprise out of distribution, the stuff is already expensive enough!

    5. I’d like to see a law stating that displayed or advertised prices of liquor anywhere – in pubs, restaurants, stores, newspaper advertisements, anywhere – must already have all taxes built in.

    Thanks for the opportunity for input!

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    • I agree with many points Keith P. has made.

      We have too many rules and regulations for stupidity and not enough freedom for respectful, responsible people. Many laws and regulations, like having to print a “Caution contents are hot” warning on a coffee cup create a race to the bottom. This creates a litigious society with many people not able to think critically for themselves. With a gradual step away from the model of alcohol as some taboo thing until you’re “of age” coupled with real punishment when violence and crimes are committed, maybe we could start to behave like many do in Mediterranean regions do with alcohol. So someone couldn’t have a reduced sentence to a crime because they were “too drunk”.

      The Centre for Addictions Research in B.C. mentions limiting access to alcohol, via price (mostly achieved by government fees and taxes) as part of a strategy to minimize alcohol abuse. Yet I couldn’t find any reference in their report, or hear any data from the Minister showing how LOWER prices in a stable country resulted in HIGHER alcohol abuse or addictions.

      Responsible, respectful people should absolutely be able to openly have a drink at the beach, or in a park etc. AND not have to pay twice what they pay in Washington State!

      Cheers!

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      • Excellent comment… let’s grow up in BC and stop making liquor seem like a right of passage. They don’t have these social problems in Europe.

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  151. The greatest problem with our liquor laws is how addicted to alcohol our provincial budget has become.

    How can we expect reasonably priced products and fair access to it when more profit from the sale of alcohol in this province goes to the government than to the producers themselves?

    This website is welcome hint of change to come that hopefully plays out with a relaxation of alcohol taxes in the long term and a more liberal attitude towards where alcohol can be purchased and where it can responsibly be consumed.

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    • Yes, alcohol is expensive with respect to other countries, i thought this was to support local producers, which is probably a good thing?
      The issue is the province could be making even more money, with no price increase by getting out of retail and disitribution business. Why are they involved, why not just collect the taxes.
      I can buy a bottle of Gin, but not the Tonic in BC Liquor, is this not counter productive in getting people to drink responsibly.

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      • Years ago, local producers were protected and BC wines were terrible. Now they are not protected [except by being over-represented in the gov't stores] and they are making much better wines. Competition forces businesses to up their game or go broke, Protection protects the losers.

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        • Increasing the duty free limits to 2 bottles of liquor or a case of wine would do very little harm to the local wine producers or tax revenue. But since the limit is controlled federally it cannot be changed. What BC can do it set a flat tax on overages. Maybe $2 per bottle of wine and $5 for each bottle of liquor to a maximum of 12 bottles. Alberta has this type of system.

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  152. I’m sure my point has been raised before but I didn’t scroll thru every comment left.

    Private Liquor stores should be allowed to be open later than 11 pm. Alberta for example, liquor stores are allowed to stay open till 2 am. I believe when you close liquor stores that early you find many people loading up on alcohol before 11 pm knowing that that is their last chance at purchasing liquor for the evening and buy way to much imo. By 2 am most people are finished their evening and won’t be purchasing more alcohol for later than that till the next day. Having private stores only allowed to open later will give them extra time where they won’t have to compete with the government stores. At the very least it liquor stores should be allowed to stay open till midnight which I think would be reasonable.

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  153. Thank you for seeking input, I think this is a great initiative.

    Here are my quick thoughts:

    1) Get out of the liquor distribution business, set up the same economic model as the USA to increase competitiveness in private sector and lower administrative/public employee costs to the government

    2) Having been to 2 events this past weekend where in order to purchase alcohol you had to be herded like cattle through a maze of fencing, and be completely segregated from the rest of the festival attendees is cruel and unusual punishment for just wanting a beer. This needs to stop immediately. Festivals are held all over the world where people can freely roam festival grounds after purchasing a beer that is as easy to buy as a hot dog provided you are wearing your wristband.

    3) Charity events and arts fundraisers should be entitled to the same discounts that Diplomats receive for their alcohol. And special occasion licenses should be a much more straightforward process that doesn’t require so much running around.

    4) Citizens should be able to import wine directly from wineries all over the world tax free for up to 4 cases or 24 bottles at a time. Similarly for ordering wine across provincial lines. We need to make it much easier for Canadian citizens to purchase and import wine from all over Canada.

    5) Tax rebates should be offered to microbreweries and small wineries to make them more competitive with the oligolopolies currently saturating the market with an inferior product.

    Thank you!

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    • Taxes should be lower on beer and wine across the board not just for small producers. The cost of a beer or bottle of wine in BC is insane.

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      • Provincial tax on microbeer:

        Ontario – $0.44/L
        Alberta – $0.22/L
        BC – $1.04/L

        Ludicrous.

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    • “…where in order to purchase alcohol you had to be herded like cattle through a maze of fencing, and be completely segregated from the rest of the festival attendees is cruel and unusual punishment for just wanting a beer. This needs to stop immediately.”
      What kind of message does this send about alcohol. A double fence with security guards? I volunteer for a non-profit charitable organization and we went from having a simple beer gardens area a couple of years ago, to being demanded to have a double fenced area with porta-potties inside and one security guard for every 75 patrons… which made it not a financially viable situation. And the liquor inspector mandated that the fenced area be in the middle of the field, not attached to our building, with access to our kitchen and running water. This has to change. I get that we’re not supposed to make lots of money (unless we can prove we need to raise funds; which we need to upgrade our facility), but why should we have to lose money.

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  154. In terms of public health and safety, I don’t believe that increasing the availability of liquor is congruent with a goal of maintaining individuals’ health and safety. While it would certainly be more convenient to be able to access alcohol in grocery stores, is easier access and increased convenience to a potentially hazardous substance necessarily a good thing? Stats from previous studies have shown that of 11, 563 worldwide injury cases, intoxicated patients had a higher likelihood of violence-related injury than any other catalyst. Furthermore, alcohol negatively affects the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system, has associated with 5 different types of cancer, and has been linked to cirrhosis, fibrosis, hepatitis, stroke, and high blood pressure. Besides the primary acute and chronic harms that a person can incur, there are the secondary, harms to others, as well. Accidental death due to intoxicated driving, relationship stress, developmental issues such as FASD, and economic costs to society are among the many negative harms to others that alcohol can have. When returning to the question of making alcohol more readily available from the perspective of how vast and all-encompassing these detrimental effects can be, are we still able to appropriately weigh the positive of “convenience” to alcohol against the negatives of injury, chronic disease, roadside death, relationship stress, developmental issues, and economic strain, and say that “convenience” still outweighs them?

    Please visit carbc2300.wordpress.com for compelling and informative blog posts from our researchers surrounding the topic of the liquor review!

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    • So you are basically advocating for a nanny state to protect adults from themselves? We already have that, and some of the most expensive liquor in the world as well.

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    • well, good point.. but obviously the people that want/need liqour are still going out and getting it when they want or need it; albeit at greater expense and inconvenience, and who needs that?.

      let’s face it, most of us like to drink sometimes, and that’s ok, we’re all adults and can make our own choices. liquor is not going away, and this thread is about peoples relationship to liquor as they would like to see it, not as someone would like to see it for them.

      I think everyone agrees that minors should be discouraged/prohibited from drinking, but that isn’t what we’re talking about. Once someone has become an adult and has some experience with alcohol, they then know what is right for them, and the law should support them in that decision.

      We do, after all, govern ourselves in a democracy, and in life.

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    • Consider this:

      Christy would like to enjoy a nice bottle of red with her Sunday roast but can’t because it’s 6pm and the liquor store is closed.

      The next time Christy is in her local BC Liquor Store, she buys two bottles of red instead of her normal one so she won’t get caught again.

      It’s now Tuesday night and that extra bottle is looking pretty good, so she drinks it when otherwise she wouldn’t.

      For me personally, I know I don’t crack that extra bottle when it’s looking me down, but I sure do have a hard time saying no to those extra chocolate bars when I buy a six-pack instead of one.

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    • Just because it is more available doesn’t mean we will have more problems… the stigma attached is also a contributing factor. In Europe, access is simple and there are far fewer issues. We have created an unhealthy attachment to what alcohol means. Let go the paranoia and we create a healthier attitude and the possibility of an open dialogue surrounding substance abuse issues. Puritanical approaches lead to people hiding their problems.

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    • I won’t drink any more or less. I’ll just save some gas money.

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  155. I would like to see the conditions for bringing wine back as a tourist improved. It’s very frustrating to go on a wine tasting trip to a wine region outside of Canada and be faced with only being able to return with 2 bottles of wine.

    I’d also like to have personal wine importation made easier. I found some great dessert wines on a trip Australia that aren’t available here–but it seems to be nearly impossible to arrange to import a couple of bottles.

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    • These laws are federal, not provincial.

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      • Not quite right. Provincial sets the costs for anything over duty free. Our costs are prohibitive.

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  156. I think that the most significant way to modernize liquor sales and distribution in BC, is to remove the Provincial Government from control of liquor products purchase, distribution and sales.

    Whenever I travel to the western US States (e.g Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, etc.), the price of their, beer, wine and spirits is significantly cheaper than our prices – often 1/2 as much. While I’m in favour of following the liquor distribution models and associated regulations of most western US States (e.g grocery & convenience stores, gas stations, big box stores, wineries, breweries, distillers, etc.), I feel that the Government of BC should get out of the liquor distribution & sales business, and turn this activity over to the private sector.

    Those who are allowed to sell beer, wines, or spirits, should be able to deal directly with the breweries, vintners, and distillers of their choice in order to obtain the best possible pricing for their customers. This would allow competition between retail outlets thereby benefiting consumers. In the US States mentioned above, retail outlets often put liquor products on sale drawing customers to their stores, and providing consumers with real savings.

    While the Provincial Government obtains significant tax revenue and profit from liquor sales and distribution (I believe in the neighbourhood of 1 Billion dollars), much this revenue could perhaps be recouped by applying an appropriate flat Provincial sales tax on liquor products that would be collected by the retailer.

    The liquor sales models used in Alberta, Quebec, and most of the USA, have been in place for many years and seem to work for those jurisdictions. Why can’t they work here in BC?

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  157. I have already posted in the more recent blog about “Grocery stores, convenience and public safety” that I adamantly believe that the culture of drinking in our province has the chance to changed for the healthier here in BC and that our current one seems to be one of an “All or Nothing” mentality. As a young person this excites me and I hope to be heard, as in these debates young people rarely are. They are used as statistics and spoken for very often but not themselves heard. This post is going to illustrate how allowing drinking in public places will in fact better our drinking culture, especially for young people, with the proper stipulations in place.

    The predominant issue I see with our drinking culture, on the side of Authority (by which I mean policy makers, law officials and even just adults), is the immediate equating of drinking to drunkenness. Moderation and responsible drinking are words thrown at us every day but Authority seems to think young people incapable of it. I would hazard to guess that 99% of the time it is not the person who has had one drink causing public disturbances, and heath and safety issues, but the person who has had ten. It isn’t drinking in public that should be illegal, but public drunkenness. This distinction, which is so lacking culturally, will be taken up by people as they see it enforced by law. This is where our greatest opportunity lies. This point of differentiation between having a drink and being drunk, especially in public, where one is subject to the judgement of ones peers, is where we can create the biggest change. It is a change I see influencing young people who are currently of legal age and anyone allowed to drink, but even more so those who are not yet legal. This new culture would be the one they grow up with, one where drinking in public is no longer cool or rebellious but something that is simply part of adult life and one where over drinking in public is frowned upon at the very least and simply not tolerated by law and by one’s peers at most. This attitude, undoubtedly, is more healthy and more mature than the “All or Nothing” mentality that we, and particularly young people, have which contributes so heavily to binge drinking. It is one I can see eventually enforced simply by culture but first must be established as distinct from simply having a drink by law enforcement.

    I know that enforcing these sorts of laws can sometimes be difficult because of peoples differences which exist regardless of drink, be it a speech impediment or a disability or merely a propensity for boisterous behavior. However the Serving it Right program that is already in place teaches anyone with $35 dollars and an hour to not only spot the signs of drunkenness but to be sensitive to peoples abilities and differences as well. I refuse to believe our police force, most of whom already can do this, is not capable of the same.

    This is may second post and for the sake of consolidation I will include the first below.

    On Liquor being sold in Grocery and Convenience stores:

    I believe that these new laws will have far more impact on the culture of drinking in this province than anything else. Speaking as a young person I can say I’m incredibly enthusiastic at the prospect of change. We have suffered, and I choose that word deliberately considering the often terrible consequences, under a drinking culture that seems to be all or nothing. Moderation is promoted constantly but as a young person I feel like we are treated like we are incapable of it. I think there is an amazing chance to change that here and part of the solution may lie in introducing liquor sales to supermarkets and convenience stores. The broader availability may seem counter intuitive to my point of responsible, moderate drinking but I ask that you hear me out as I address the issues I see being raised with this idea.

    One of the largest issues I can see with the introduction of liquor sales in supermarkets and convenience stores, aside from greater accessibility, is the idea that they will make liquor stores, including the BCL, redundant or unnecessary. However, you can ensure that the liquor stores remain open and ensure that alcohol doesn’t become potentially dangerously available by limiting what a grocery or convenience store can sell. Perhaps allowing only beer, up to a twelve pack, and wine is the answer. This promotes drinking in moderation simply because the easiest things to get will be smaller quantities and no hard liquor. It also allows the liquor stores to become a place where greater choice in quantity and better range of product, including hard liquor, is available ensuring they stay a viable business option. Of course the prices, with greater competition could drop but I see this as a potential road to moderation as well.

    As a young person of limited financial means like most young people are, my choices when buying alcohol are limited. We are forced by price to to drink cheap stuff, indirectly fostering a culture that says drinking is only for getting drunk because it’s certainly not for taste. But what if the prices dropped to allow those of us who can’t afford to buy quality to do exactly that? I am by no means saying this would eliminate binge drinking but there are those of us that would drink simply for taste far more often if it was a real option for us.

    This only part of my argument as a whole and therefore offers an incomplete view of this change in culture that I’ve spoken of. I hope those of you who found my perspective worthwhile, especially those who have the power to make change, will read my other posts as well.

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    • Good post.

      A point to consider: if you have enough money to buy the cheap six-pack, and you want quality not quantity, then why not buy the expensive yet tasty bomber?

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    • Excellent post… time to change the mentality of drinking in this province.

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  158. It is high time that our outdated liquor laws get a badly needed overhaul. Like in about all countries in the world, alcohol is sold in grocery stores etc.
    You should be able to get a drink if you go for a meal to a restaurant WITH your family, children included. Grow up government.

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  159. Having lived all over the world, and enjoyed spirits, wines and beers from many different places, I am blown away that we would restrict so severely the development of our wine and beer industries with such ridiculously punitive taxes. I refuse to buy local wines because they cost more than a superior import wine. This is not to say that BC does not make good wine. It does. But when I can buy a far superior bottle of wine in France for a quarter of the cost, it strikes me as a little overkill. Lowering prices to reflect a cost competitive industry with our neighbours (particularly Alberta) would lower cross border shopping and improve sales. Including the sale of wine and beer in corner stores would also serve to lower the environmental footprint, providing more options and convenience to the consumer.

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    • I couldn’t agree more with the writer of this article, our government has got to stop treating the residents of this province like children. Why is it so difficult for an adult to purchase wine, spirit or beer at either a rural or government outlet rather than a grocery store. Again the price of imported superior wines are cheaper than the local product, not that the local product is necessarily better in some cases. The government has to strike a balance in pricing, so as not to continually gouge the purchaser all the time.

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    • I echo and agree with the above (Peter’s) comments. I rarely buy a BC wine, VQA or other, because the price in relation to the quality/value is excessive. Wine, beer and even spirits should be available in stores, markets, etc. like in Europe. Privatize the industry – make for competition to give the consumer choice and hopefully some price relief. Families, including “minor” children, ought to be able to share a meal in whatever establishment they choose, including where alcoholic beverages are served – again similar to practices in civilized/modernized European countries.

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    • The stuff from France is cheaper because of production of scale.

      I’m not saying it’s not better in some cases, and I’m also not saying that our wineries aren’t over-taxed themselves which lends to higher prices for the consumer, but our big producers are a fraction of the size of France’s.

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  160. For Special Occasion Licenses, please reduce the headache involved with receiving approval from the local police agency and then having to take the application back to a BCLDB. This creates multiple steps for the organizer in what should be a one-stop process. A possible solution is issuing the liquor license at first point of application, however it is not valid until a local police agency stamp has been affixed.

    In addition regarding Special Occasion Licenses, please either eliminate or reduce the PST rate (10%) that is charged for non-profits who are selling liquor as a fundraiser. This tax greatly reduces the profits for the organization, and the tax is calculated as an estimate based off of the maximum sold potential. More often than not, a non-profit never sells all of the liquor they bring to an event therefore paying a higher percentage of tax per drink.

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  161. First: Allow public drinking, but clamp down on public drunkenness..
    I believe nobody has a problem with people that know how to behave themselves, weather they are drunk, drinking or sober.
    Have police trained to go after the idiots, the ones that turn into even bigger idiots after they’ve been drinking, ie: identify and detain troublemakers, and offer real deterrents, like a week in jail for fighting while drunk, not just a quick sober up and release back home. (After a visit to Barcelona Spain i saw no evidence of violence or disturbance in a city where you could buy cold beer from a guy with a bucket of ice for a dollar on every street corner and walk around drinking it in a crowd of 300,000 people! The cops there were very strict if you got out of line however)
    So, punish drunken violence with severity, allow public drinking.

    Second: Offer AUTHENTIC drinking experiences!
    Let people drink in the ways and places that they deem to be useful and enjoyable. If people want to buy liquor in the middle of the night, let them. If they want to drink and dance in a warehouse somewhere until 9am the next day, let them. if they want to drink at the beach, let them. If people want to roam the streets on a Saturday night with a bottle in their hand, let them.
    The bottom line is: people will do these things anyways, without incident in most cases. So why criminalize these people? It’s a wast of resources and ostracizes otherwise law abiding citizens. For example: a legitimate after hours event where people can drink till dawn if they want (as seen in every major European city) will have sanctioned police involvement leading to higher safety, less illicit drug use and the expulsion of organized criminal elements.
    Make it easy for people to enjoy themselves in the ways that they want to.

    Third: get liquor profits out of the hands of government and select private sector interests!
    The current system, and especially the restrictions and laws, are tailored to suit those that are profiting from the liquor industry as a whole, ie: the government, though taxes and enforcement budgets; the private liquor store lobby, and to some extent organized crime.
    The scarcity of cheaper liquor (very few government stores that close early) leads to higher prices in general. Private liquor fills the gap with slightly more expensive liquor that is more available. Organized crime, through Dial a Bottle services, offer 24hr access at a very very high price.
    These are the groups who are currently maintaining the status quo, in order to preserve profits, stricter laws mean higher prices, simple as that, just like the drug trade.
    It costs about one dollar to produce a liter of vodka, (which is illegal to produce at home, even though it is very easy to do.) the rest is taxes, profits.
    Abandon all access restrictions, sell booze at corner stores on an open market. Vice taxes targeting poor(and occasionally homeless) alcoholics are monies that we as a society should be ashamed to collect.

    Fourth: Offer treatment or free booze for alcoholics.
    Those who are hooked on alcohol have very few options currently. Long waiting lists for rehab means that is not a very accessible option for most. Meanwhile alcohol is very expensive (see above) which leads to certain poverty for those afflicted with this nastiest of addictions. Booze is the only substance that addicts can actually die from the withdrawl if they don’t get their fix. This leads to some drunks drinking mouthwash or salty cooking wine just to keep their head above water, it’s sad. I think registered addicts should be given cheap or free alcohol from the health services branch of the government, it would save lives. Also, more treatment beds for those that want to kick it.

    Thanks, that’s my 2 cents.
    Cheers!

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  162. I spend a lot of time in the UK and always enjoy the environment of the pubs there. They are part of the community and children are regularly present with their parents. I have yet to see any violent, lewd or inappropriate behaviour in any of these establishments. Two years ago, when we brought our ten year old son to London, it was a wonderful experience to bring him in to a pub and enjoy it with him. Now when my wife and I go to our local pub for lunch or dinner it seems a shame that we can’t bring him along. It is important to us that he grow up with a healthy attitude toward alcohol, and the pub culture is an important part of that.

    There are pubs in the UK who specifically cater to adults and have a policy of 21 or older posted in an obvious location. I’m not sure whether these pubs are treated differently by the law or not. I think it is worth investigating as a matter of policy for the Liquor Primary locations to have the option of allowing children, accompanied by parents, in to pubs.

    I am encouraged by the recent proliferation of craft breweries in BC. Almost all of my beer consumption is now locally produced, the vast majority purchased in growlers directly from the brewer. Access to locally produced beer, wine and spirits should be promoted as much as possible. Promoting quality of the drinking experience over the ability to simply get drunk is an important aspect of the transition that I think we, as a culture, need to go through. In the UK the “Real Ales” are often well under 4% alcohol. There has been enormous growth in the popularity of “Real Ales” in the past decade, resulting in many regional breweries producing for flavour and character, not alcoholic content, and a resulting culture of appreciation for the resulting product that does not promote binge drinking.

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  163. 1. Allow sale of beer, wine and spirits in grocery stores and beer and wine in corner stores.

    2. Ensure that beer, wine and spirits sold in non-LDB retail outlets are priced in such a way to allow competitive pricing. Currently, LDB sets baseline price. If vendor can get better deal…allow them go do it. Allow more meaningful ‘sales’.

    3. Broaden selection of wines, beers, spirits – leave that to individuals operating above noted retail outlets and not controlled solely by LDB. (ie. If a retail outlet wishes to specialize in say, California Wines, let them do that if they feel they can make a living at it).

    4. Clean up, streamline the various liquor licenses: pub licnese; restruant license, etc. If your serving alcohol…you should have a single license with a single set of rules. The multi-license system creates paperwork, work-arounds, bad feelings, and is generally dated. Go to a single license. Make it simple…and reduce the beaucracy costs associated with policing the various license types.

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  164. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look to other successful models around the world to cherry pick the policies that work in other countries. I think we will be pleasantly surprised that the vast majority of adults don’t require babysitting and that we are quite capable of policing our own behavior. There are exceptions now but I doubt the numbers will increase substantially if liquor laws are relaxed. Private outlets whether corner stores, supermarkets or service stations must be diligent in ensuring product will not be sold to minors. Regrettably, that may be the biggest challenge of all. I’ve seen far too many minors being sold tobacco products. For this to work retailers have to follow strict rules that may result in them being given a very stiff fine and losing the privilege of selling alcoholic beverages (or tobacco). This must be strictly enforced, no exceptions. The penalty has to be severe enough that it hurts.

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  165. Where to start regarding BC’s unbelievably archaic liquor laws, and acutely embarrassing and ridiclulous history?

    Here goes:

    (1) Close BC Government/Union-run liquor stores.

    -Staff are overpaid for what they do.
    -The Prov. Gov. promote ‘responsible drinking’ yet don’t even sell mixes (Coke, Pepsi, etc). So you have to visit 2 separate stores. Thanks!
    -A magazine, which would cost at least $10 to purchase is given away free! Talk about a cash cow!
    -Only 2 ‘Signature’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean) Prov. Gov stores open in Kelowna on Sunday…..both in Kelowna, but none open in West Kelowna. WHY?

    (2) Canada’s Federal Govt. Weights & Measures Act stipulates that a pint is 20 oz. Yet many bars advertise ‘pints’ that contain 16 or 17 oz…..sometimes less. Serve ONLY 20 oz if you want to call the drink a pint. Comply with Canada’s W & M Act.
    If I ask for a pint, I don’t want a ‘sleeve’, ‘mug’, ‘USA meaure’, etc.
    I want a 20 oz pint. Period!

    (3) Sell ALL types of liquor in grocery stores, wine stores . Make liquor retailing more convenient and treat consumers as adults.We have the money…we should have the convenience too!

    (4) The Federal Government should insist the ALL Provinces interepret Liquor Laws THE SAME WAY WITH THE SAME RULES. Assuming, of course, that changes (some listed above) are made to make Canada a more enlightened country liquor-wise.

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    • (2) While a Canadian pint, like a UK pint, is indeed 20 oz, an American pint is 16 oz.

      Most establishments that serve 16 oz ‘pints’ do so because they’re ignorant or cheap. As consumers, it’s up to us to call them on it.

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  166. Regardless of whether it becomes easier to buy alcoholic drinks in restaurants, at breweries or pubs, liquor volumes need to be clearly marked reasons of public health and consumer protection. Through the UK and European Union it is a standard requirement that the volume be provided on menus (such as 250 ml, 500 ml for beer or wine) and that glass sizes correspond. As it currently stands in British Columbia consumers do not know how much beer or wine they are getting, nor, often the alcohol content, with sizes ranging anywhere from ‘sleeves’, ‘Canadian pints’ whatever that is, half litres, to imperial pints, and beer now ranging from 4 to 8 percent. The result is price gouging and a lack of safety. Consumers have no way of knowing the practices before hand of particular establishments given their numbers and variety of practices. So in the case of clear ‘market failure’ in information we need this government intervention. Moreover, the figures need to be in metric. Imperial measurements, now still common in bars when they are decent enough to share this information, have not been taught in schools for decades, are not the global standard, and are not directly comparable to liquor store pricing and labelling. Imperial measurements are simply parochial and need to be phased out. Too many visitors to British Columbia are shocked by the randomness, arbitrariness and confusion of current sizing practices and the provincialism of measurement practices.

    Ideally glasses should have markings and be in standardized sizes. The rules should stipulate that new purchases of glasses have this. Bars and restaurants should be given the option of continuing to use their old equipment, by clearly measuring and stipulating the sizes of their old glasses, and having measured examples on display allowing consumers to clearly inspect whether their drinks do correspond to the measured sizes.

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  167. Minors, when accompanied by an adult should be allowed into pubs. They can go into restaurants where alcohol is served. I can’t even take my infant child in to a pub to meet my friends-but I could go in pregnant.

    A great majority of people who consume alcohol do not get out of control and cause a raucous. Most people who consume alcohol don’t even get drunk. In fact, most people who purchase alcohol are upstanding members of the public.

    The worry about making alcohol more accessible to those who are addicts is silly, they will drink anything with alcohol if they can’t get the real stuff (alcohol based mouthwash, hand sanitizers etc.). Changes to the liqour laws won’t created addicts.

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  168. 1) I support allowing families into pubs before 6pm for brunch or lunch but at night, I like to go out to a pub to watch a game or have a dinner without my kids!! Also, I think most restaurants are responsible enough that we could allow wait-staff that are minors to serve all the drinks ordered at a table.

    2) I support having minors allowed at outdoor festivals where alcohol is served, because I think sale to minors can be avoided by having wristbands to identify those that are of age.

    3) Even though I know it’s the few that ruin it for the many, I cannot support being allowed to drink in public places because of these people. I think, most of the time, if you’re not causing trouble and are being discreet, the police leave you alone anyways.

    4) I support maintaining government liquor stores but think they should have better/ later hours, be open on Sunday’s and have a cold section to make them a more convenient option for consumers. Having lived in both large cities & a few small towns, it has always been apparent that private stores open late either do not ID or will accept fairly obvious fake ID. In my current town the beer & wine stores are also allowed to sell hard liquor? I think hard liquor sales should be at government stores only, who are more likely to enforce the age restrictions. I also believe 100% that if we abolish the government stores all the private stores would jack their prices because they would have no low priced competition.

    5) I do not think you should be able to buy any kind of alcohol at a gas station or convenience store. I don’t think they’d ID properly, I don’t think responsible drinkers are out looking to buy alcohol that late at night or that early in the morning, and I think it puts the safety of the people that work there at risk. There are numerous problems at these places in the US and there’s no reason to believe we’d be any different.

    6) Finally, the sale of alcohol in grocery stores is where I can’t really decide but I do not support them being allowed to sell hard liquor. I think it would be very convenient & a great option for consumers but I just can’t see how they’d control the theft of alcohol or the sale to minors? Go into a large grocery store after about 8pm and there’s usually only a few people working and they’re usually all high school or college kids. A lot of grocery stores are now open until 10pm or midnight. Go in after 10pm and there’s sometimes only one or two people working. So how do we expect a kid not to sell alcohol to kids (especially when there’s no one else around)? Even if they didn’t want to, wouldn’t they still do it out of fear or intimidation? Also, it would be too easy for those underage or with a problem but no money to shoplift a 6pk when there’s only 5 people in a 10,000 sq ft store? If these issues could be resolved then I would support beer & wine sales in grocery stores as well, I just can’t see how it can be done.

    Thank-you for the opportunity to provide my input!

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  169. While I am cautious about opening up liquor sales to grocery stores, etc., there are already a plethora of outlets in rural areas that combine liquor sales with common store sales. That would appear to have opened the door for more private sales outlets throughout the Province. I believe that the liquor laws should be geared towards what people of the province deem acceptable and not towards trying to rehabilitate the problem drinkers. That should be the responsibility of our health and legal systems. Of another concern for me is that to obtain a SOL for such functions as weddings, etc., the licence holder is restricted to buying liquor supplies from Gov. of BC outlets. These outlets have a very restricted supply of locally produced wines and ciders, etc. This needs to be corrected to allow for locally produced wines, beers, etc that are available in the private outlets. It is an unfair licencing practice that cannot be justified and brings to question about what the payoff is to the BC Government to have such restrictions in place for SOL’s. To me it is an example of why people of this province complain about the “unfairness” and political “corruption” of our politicians. We do live in a supposed free market society so why the restrictions on the SOL?

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  170. After visiting Europe this past summer I was pleased to see families dinning in pubs each day. At no time was there any problems with this concept as everyone in Europe treats it as a way of life.A person can also purchase all alcohol products in grocery stores as well as private stores.
    At no time was any abuse observed nor over serving of patrons.The bar staff were very welcoming to all families.
    I feel we should be treated in the same manner here in B.C. Please consider relaxing the laws and get into the times.

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  171. Wow. We’re not even two days into the public consultations on B.C.’s liquor laws and already more than 400 of you have taken the time to send in thoughtful, well-versed and sometimes innovative ideas for changes that government should consider. Hundreds more of you have read these comments and rated them, and others have contacted me directly on Twitter or called in when I’ve been on the radio. This is all in addition to the face-to-face meetings I have held so far with stakeholders, community, and health and public safety organizations. To all of you, I say thank you!

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    • As well as thinking about all the nice extra convenience there could be for buying and consuming alcohol in more places and more times, let’s also consider the extent of health and safety consequences so we can make an informed decision as a community. BC government data show that in the 10 years up to 2011 18,752 British Columbians died and there were almost 190,000 people admitted to hospitals for alcohol-related reasons. Please visit the Centre for Addictions Research of BC website (www.carbc.ca) to see discussions of these issues from different perspectives as well as research on what happens when liquor laws are changed. Lets please have an informed debate! it would also be good if people could also identify if they have a vested interest in this issue e.g. if they work in the liquor industry in some capacity. I’m an academic from the University of Victoria and I have no financial conflicts of interest on this topic.

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  172. As a person employed in the social services field, I am wary about opening up the sale of liquor, wine and beer to grocery and convenience stores. They do not have the cleanest track record on a “not selling to minors” policy around cigarettes, so why would alcohol be any different?
    Instead, why not use this opportunity to promote “buy local” and take sales of BC or Canadian produced spirits, wines and beer to a higher level. Why not allow boutique entrepreneurs to open this type of storefront? Why not allow, for example, a wine producer to have a booth at a farmer’s market? This would allow the local producer to access customers on a more direct level; would allow smaller producers an outlet that are not currently accessible, and promote the local economy.
    I do not think flooding the market with easy, generic (non government), “big box” access to spirits, wine and beer is the answer. Let’s use this to promote small, local economy in BC.

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  173. First of all, beer and wine should be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores.

    Also, drinking in public should be allowed.
    It don’t mind fining people for public intoxication when they act up, but the many people who are able to enjoy a beer or wine in quiet on the beach should be allowed to do so. But not only on the beaches, I don’t see what’s wrong with drinking a beer in a park, etc.

    I think the strict laws are devastating for the youth. I’m from Europe and here I see much more young people wasted at night than in Europe. Why? Because over there you can enjoy a beer or two and go along your way, over here young people tend to drink spirit rather than beer because it’s easier to conceal. Thus they get more drunk and more used to higher percentage alcohol.

    You won’t stop people from drinking if they want to drink. They way shouldn’t be to restrict, but to educate and teach how to drink responsibly.

    Also, it should be easier for restaurants and pubs to get licenses, it would enrich the cultural landscape.

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  174. I would certainly like to see government liqueur stores expanded. I know many people that won’t use private liqueur stores (myself included). This is not just due to prices, most people I’ve talked to working for private are making minimum wage or slightly above and no benefits. People working at government stores are making a living wage with benefits are are able to contribute back into society. We find ourselves driving farther as more gov store are closing.

    Shane Johnson

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  175. I agree that BC’s liquor laws are archaic, the result of puritanical and bygone Victorian values, behind the rest of the world and need reform.

    I have been in Australia and Europe where people were able to enjoy a glass of wine with their picnic in a park or on the beach and no it did not result in public drunkeness or rowdiness. Same with allowing minors to be in areas where alcohol is served but not being served themselves. It seems to me that in these cultures where people are exposed to consuming alcohol responsibly in an open manner, rather than repressing it and forcing people to hide it, fosters a more mature and open and responsible culture around drinking. Yes, there will always be those who get into fights, can’t handle their liquor etc. but I don’t think that the majority of those who do not behave this way should be punished.

    1. Allow a reasonable consumption of alcohol among adults in parks and other public areas such as beaches.
    2. Better opening hours at liquor stores, i.e. open later than 6 or 7 pm and also open on Sunday.
    3. Allow alcohol to be sold in grocery stores and markets, and at places such as Costco. As it is, many people drive across the border to buy cheap spirits and wines at Costco in Bellingham.
    4. Relax laws against having minors in places that serve alcohol as long as they are with an adult and not served alcohol themselves.
    5. I do not understand the laws on serving alcohol outdoors on patios and having to move indoors after 11 pm. It does not make sense to me. Are people somehow more rowdy when sitting on a patio outdoors after a few drinks than they are inside?
    6. Allow microbreweries to set up sampling kiosks at fairs, farmer’s markets, or food truck festivals. This is done in some cases in Ontario, for example I attended a “brewer’s market” there which was similar to a farmer’s market but featured tents from different microbreweries as well as local food. It was a great event and a huge success!

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    • 100% agree! Well thought out and well said.

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  176. The whole issue of trade practices – tied houses and inducements needs to be completely scrapped. All the ills these policies were meant to address no longer apply in our highly evolved liquor industry. Doing away with all these antiquated requirements would significantly reduce the regulatory burden for industry and free up enforcement resources to focus on matters of public safety not regulation for regulation sake.

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  177. Would like to see the permissable selling of wine and spirits to restaurants through private stores, creating more selection, better pricing and better service. It is unacceptable to have to buy a case of an uncommon spirit from the bcldb, rather than a single bottle. Better discounting to restaurants, 8% is certainly not enough, allowing restaurants to remain profitable without having to increase prices. With increased food costs, higher minimum wage and property taxes, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to produce profit without increasing prices. Giving greater discounts to restaurants, or allowing competition through private stores, will help ensure solvency and keep dining prices reasonable.

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  178. Hi, This sales of liquor law is out dated. Even third world country have batter laws than this. I think every thing should be sold in grocery stores including hard liquor.. There would be no big box liquor store that very inconvenient.
    Thanks

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  179. I am absolutely for change in our dated liquor laws…..
    1) like to see more retail sellers….ie. Super store liquor similar to Alberta
    2) I believe that there is no reason in the world to have parking at any liquor consumption area ie. pubs, night clubs, etc this encourages poor choices in driving after consumption….should be employee parking only
    3) I would like to see the ability of beer & wine stores to have brewers taste testing nights, advertised in advance to enable patrons to try different varieties of wine &/or beers without having to buy before you try….encourage no driving prior by allowing consumers to know about events prior to said event.
    4) allow happy hours…..time tested allowance for discount prices for limited time to allow bars to drive up their bottom lines prior to traditional high volume sales
    5) allow responsible people to drink on their own terms in private or in public as they see fit….but do not allow drivers the right to drive while drunk because they consumed too…. (continue to ticket individuals for over indulgence in public)

    Thank you for taking the time to review my comment and for allowing a public forum to get the publics real opinions.

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    • no parking??????where are the designated drivers? and people coming in to eat food supposed to put their vehicles? doesn’t make sense.

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  180. It is hard to imagine that there is a need for any more liquor outlets in BC. Of all the pitfalls with the BC liquor laws, I cannot believe that access to purchasing liquor is one of them. I believe that a tasteful amount of liquor stores (public and private) are in place and that those stores supply the population across the province with adequate selection of wines, spirits and beer for all to enjoy. All those public and private stores that rely on their sales and their employees, would be in jeopardy as a result of allowing more liquor outlets to appear, especially in grocery stores. Many BC government liquor stores are located very near major grocery stores. To allow for the sale of liquor in those grocery stores would surely effect the future of those government stores who now supply great service, variety, and pricing. The establishment of Rural Stores over the last 10 to 15 years has been a terrific addition to allow the rural population convenient access to purchasing liquor, under strict government controls. Access to purchasing liquor is not a problem in BC. Allowing any more outlets to sell liquor would only serve to take away those strict controls and negatively effect the public and private, urban and rural, liquor stores that already exist.

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  181. I think we should be able to purchase alcohol at convenient stores gas stations and shopping centers like walmart. the states do it without issues why cant we. it would just be more convenient when grocery shopping.

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  182. I’ve had the good fortune of living on three continents, 12-cities, and across Canada. Of all the places I’ve called home, next to England, BC is home to some of the most immature citizens I have ever seen. Where most of the world consumes alcohol respectfully and socially, here in BC we have a large segment of the population that feel the need to overindulge with predicable results. Frankly, I can’t endorse any new regulations that would increase the availability of alcohol until folks here grow-up.

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  183. The public-private model of retail should remain as government stores are more diligent regarding minors, have better selection, and far more knowledgeable staff. The number of government stores should remain the same or increase slightly. no more stores should be closed. government stores should remain to ensure consumers have product choice and fair pricing. it would be nice to see government stores able to actually compete with more stores (all remaining) being allowed to offer chilled products and Sunday openings.

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  184. I really think that, to move forward, we need to examine what works elsewhere in the world. Of course there will be a bit of a transition period, but there will always be a transition period no matter what change you are making in any facet of life.

    I spend a lot of time over in Europe, and alcohol consumption is quite high in a lot of places. Take Prague for example, the people of Prague consume more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. Alcohol is widely available, very inexpensive, and allowed to be consumed in public areas. Prague was also one of the safest places I visited and did not encounter any problems or boorish behaviour. Why? Well the theory is that when you remove the restrictions on alcohol, the act of going out and drinking becomes less and less special. When it becomes widely available people have less of an urge to binge drink. People then develop a better understanding about how to drink responsibly and you encounter fewer and fewer problems as a result. Now, yes there will be that transition period where there could be a number of issues for the first year as people get used to the newer relaxed laws, but once that “honeymoon” transition period is over with I believe you will see fewer and fewer issues than we have today. To combat this transition period, I would propose implementing this in stages. Stage 1 would be to allow the consumption of beer and wine on beaches and in parks. Stage 2 would be to allow the consumption of beer/wine/mixed drinks on beaches and parks, as well as beer and wine in certain designated areas (such as on Granville street in Vancouver, and other “entertainment” districts). Stage 3 would be to allow mixed drinks in those entertainment districts in addition to everything else. Stage 4 would be to allow drinks in all public places. The idea is, once we reach stage 4, everyone should be more or less accustomed to being permitted to drink in public places and this should provide the easiest transition possible.

    Secondly, I definitely feel that alcohol should be made available in convenience stores, and supermarkets. Just because it is more convenient for people to purchase alcohol doesn’t mean we will experience more problems with it. This will force store owners and managers to fully train all of their staff in handling of alcohol, but they are already training staff in handling of tobacco. I do not understand why tobacco can be sold in these places but alcohol cannot.

    Thirdly, the sale and delivery of alcohol online to a private residence absolutely needs to be implemented. This is an absolute must from a safety perspective. A lot of people like to host social events at their own residence, and sometimes they find they run out of alcohol and need to replenish their supplies. It is much safer to have someone from a designated establishment deliver that alcohol to a private residence, than it is to have someone who is already intoxicated drive out to a liquor store to purchase more alcohol. We would be keeping intoxicated people off the streets, while providing an option where they can continue to have fun and enjoy whatever social event they are hosting.

    Fouthly, we need to remove restrictions on bar/pub/nightclub hours of operation. Currently what we see are nightclubs and bars closing at 3am in Vancouver (for example) and you get a whole bunch of people exiting these establishments at the same time. This creates a massive backlog amongst taxi drivers, and you end up with a large amount of intoxicated people congregating in a relatively small area. That, in my mind, is a recipe for disaster. People get frustrated with not being able to get home or get to where they want to go to, while already intoxicated, tempers flare and problems ensue. If we eliminate those closing time restrictions, people will not all be leaving all at once and that should ease the strain on the transit system, as well you would not see everyone congregating in the same places all at once.

    Finally, especially during the transition period, there needs to be some social programs that educate people on the dangers of alcohol abuse. We need to teach people how to drink responsibly, and more importantly we need to educate people more about where they can go to seek help. I believe eliminating a lot of restrictions on alcohol consumption will ultimately lead to a decrease in some of the problems we have; however, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some people negatively affected by this. It is very common to see ads offering people advice on gambling addiction, and I do not think that ads offering people advice or help on alcoholism would be a bad idea at all.

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  185. I would love to see liquor sold in supermarkets like they have in USA for I believe it would reduce our current tax burden and open up the market to more competitive pricing… Although I believe in a fair wage policy here in BC, I believe liquor store employees are overpaid for the service they provide and the closed market does not allow for competitive pricing. I believe the population living in BC is increasingly subjected to high pricing in terms of services and goods administered by the public sector and a reduction in government wages across board hopefully would result in a reduction in the taxes applied to liquor and other government supplied services.
    I would like to see all revenues collected from liquor taxes allocated to health services and streamlined into addiction and mental health facilities.

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  186. Let’s see our liquor policies come into the 21st century! I’d like to have the option to purchase my liquor at my local market, or corner store. I lived in a state in the US where you could buy liquor at any retail store and it was so convenient. And no, this policy did not increase drinking to excess – let’s start listening to consumers please!

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  187. As responsible adults, I do not see why we can not enjoy a drink on the beach or even in a park. There should be wine and beer available in grocery stores. If the government liquor stores want to be in line with other modern day practices, they should be open on Sunday..

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  188. Anything less than privatization is a joke. It takes political courage to eliminate union ran monopolies so I do not expect much. This is probably a feel good exercise. It is not an issue of lost government revenue either as the distribution could still be taxed with no loss of government taxation.

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  189. While there have been times that a bottle of wine late at night at a convenient store would have been desirable, there are some serious social issues involved in impulse buying.
    During a recent trip to Saskatchewan there were some “beggars” after midnight at a 7/11 asking for change for something to drink. It seems there was a convenient wine store down the street due to relaxed liquor laws.
    During the 70s in Buffalo New York, a similar situation was encountered with weapons being produced and the pocket change not asked for in a pleasant manner. The beer and wine were inside the 7/11.
    With increased freedom to drink publicly, and increased access we run the risk of being afraid to move freely at night in public places due to desperados in search of a drink.
    Please , seriously consider the long range effects of this cash grab.
    Seriou

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  190. What is with the cages?? I’m not sure what law says that outdoor events with liquor sales and consumption have to be held in cages with numerous security guards everywhere you turn. This is simply ridiculous and completely ruins any potential atmosphere that otherwise might be a draw. In addition it jacks the prices up so high that the cages are often such that the security guards outnumber the patrons. There are other ways to deal with or discourage the very few who cause problems and let the vast majority of law abiding citizens enjoy their free time. We live in a beautiful country and outdoor events are special to many of us. The cages have to go!

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    • And here in Victoria, the cage generally sells exactly one brand of
      pretty crappy Industrial Beer, at a nosebleeding price…
      And not a BC beer, BTW…

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  191. I don’t understand why it’s so important to drink in public places? Most of the time nothing good comes from drinking, fights, people acting like a bunch of idiots or someone getting seriously hurt etc. Now the BC government wants to allow this kind of crap to be on display in public? If I brought my kid to the park or beach for a picnic or some kid friendly play time and my child was subjected to a bunch young people acting like a bunch potty mouth idiots I would have to say the government failed me and the youth of today. NOTHING good is going to come from this! There are bars for a reason and do you actually this public saftey won’t be at risk…you’re stupid! You show be allowing smoking pot to be legal! When have you seen someone beat up or kill someone while stoned? There are less risk and better health when it comes to pot smoking. I am glad I don’t live in BC where the government choses making money over the saftey of it’s people!!

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  192. I wholeheartedly support the Royal Canadian Legion’s desire to allow minors on special occasions. I would also support allowing minors into food-serving pubs and liquor-primary locations during catered events where food will be served.

    I wholeheartedly support the sale of alcoholic beverages in grocery stores.

    I wholeheartedly support the consumption of alcohol in public places.

    I’m a cabbie and making good money taking calls from the RCMP when they’ve impounded someone’s car. I have yet to have one “drunk” driver whom I would describe as drunk. Mostly older fellows. Retired. Creatures of habit. No, lads, you can no longer have a G & T at the club after a round of golf, then drive home. Unless you are morbidly obese, one is now too many. Those laws were just fine as they were. They have now gone too far. Whoever came up with the .5 nonsense and the onerous fines and impound fees should be fired with cause and prohibited from public service for life.

    I suspect the restrictions on imports are the reason why prices are so absolutely outrageous that any sensible and otherwise law-abiding person will be moved to produce their own or do their shopping in some other state or province. Provincial taxes on alcohol should be no more and no less than on any other good.

    The best places have few laws and many customs. Someone above noted that BC does not have the same culture as other places with a less hysterically Protestant and prohibitionist past. I come from a Catholic family, with a very permissive attitude towards alcohol, but no alcoholism or hooliganism. Largely because we were started on watered wine at age 5, and were taught how to drink instead of let loose a year after we’d left home.

    I have not seen the problem of over-serving mentioned in the comments above. It is an enormous problem and while there are laws on the books they are not enforced at all. As a cabbie I routinely see people who are barely capable of getting to my cab. This year I have seen a dozen injured getting to or leaving my taxi — all injured in falls. The tighter driving restrictions mean people who used to stop in for one at the pub round the corner are now getting sloshed then calling me. Like I want them vomiting and/or urinating in my cab.

    While my attitude to alcohol is generally very permissive, I have only twice in my entire life been seen drunk in public ( and very rarely in private). It is disgraceful and deeply shameful not to be in control of your own self. Stop harassing people who are doing no harm and enforce existing laws against the drunk and disorderly. That is the first step in creating a culture where getting hopelessly drunk is not something to be proud of.

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  193. Changes are needed to update our current liquor laws, yes. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be reasonable, and apply a common sense approach.

    - Allowing easier access for microbreweries direct access to markets such as restaurants, and liquor stores allows businesses to compete and thrive within the province, promotes competition, and allows retailers to shop locally for part, if not all of their selection. Although this would require an increase in Provincial inspections of such facilities to insure food health and safety practices are employed as per regulations.

    - Extending the hours restaurants, event facilities and so forth can serve alcohol, as compared to those allowed by bars and nightclubs currently, so that they can remain open later as desired, both for the benefit of their earnings and for the consumer not to be ushered out at 11pm.

    - Allowing, with restrictions, minors to go to pubs and other select locations, accompanied by their parents, or an older family members, for a meal, or for when Sports games, PPV events are available for viewing at such location. Provided that they’re not being served alcohol (nor being provided at the table by the adult accompanying them). With allowances for such facilities to “police” those who are abusing the system in order to “hang out” at pubs and the like, such as to hang around and play at the pool tables after school with a “friend” who’s legal age.

    - Look into having licensed beer gardens, or other set asside facilities on beaches or public parks (Queen Elizabeth Park, or Stanley Park being two good examples). Perhaps allowing minors to accompany an adult, especially in the case of younger children that couldn’t/shouldn’t simply be left in the car, or to sit outside waiting.

    - Though I woudn’t go so far as to open up public places (such as beaches or parks) to open consumption of alcohol (beyond the use of the above mentioned beer gardens) for two reasons: The lack of any real safeguards against minors obtaining and consuming alcohol, and the problems associated with public drunkeness in such locations (fights, leud acts, public urination, and the effects of too much alcohol for those who cannot handle their liquor very well).

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  194. I want to see a law pass that allows British Colombians be able to freely drink alcohol in public, as long as they are responsible, look at New Orleans… They do it, look at Las Vegas … Plus many ther places. We love on a beautiful province and should not be forced to drink in a fenced area or … Also I would like to see beer and wine sold at local groceries like safeway etc..
    That’s all.. Common it’s 2014 get with the program.

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  195. It would be great if the comments could be sorted by date as well as by rating. Highest rated post at the top and lowest rated at the bottom so that at glance we can see what some of the most popular ideas are.

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  196. I am in my mid-20′s and have seen BC’s laws mess up a lot of potentially great situations. I don’t know what the specific laws causing issue are but here are some things I’d like to see:

    1) Video arcade bars. Bars with video game tournaments. There are archaic laws that prevent this. A Vancouver video game themed bar had to completely alter its approach because of this.

    2) Venues that may host all-ages shows and temporarily stop serving alcohol. These exist but must comply with excessive regulations.

    3) An allowance for out-of-country performers (musicians/bands/acts/etc) to perform in bars and only be taxed on actual earned profit. Many bands can’t come here, or if they can, can’t play in bars because of the high costs involved that end up losing them lots of money in the long run. They’re trying to raise these costs and it is damaging our music community.

    4) More all ages events with beer gardens, especially at bars themselves. Bars are some of the best venues in town but many other countries and states allow minors to enter because they are required to show ID when ordering a drink or they are allowed in only a certain portion. The legendary “X” on the hand of minors became a symbol for those who are proud to support the music scene of their area while simultaneously identifying as non-drinkers.

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  197. The Government Run liquor stores far surpass the private stores, offering better prices, better selection and much more knowledgeable staff. If the Government wants to run a productive business they need to provide refrigeration in all stores and open on Sundays…it just makes good business sense. The government run stores also are much more diligent in asking for 2 pieces of identification, preventing sales to minors…the government run stores have huge support from the MADD organization as well as the public in general. I have had first hand experience with this as my 18 year old daughters friends consistently can purchase liquor at the private store in our community and have never been able to at the government run store. Let the government continue to run with the mixed model of public and private but let the government stores be run more like a business, afterall they provide millions of dollars for our health care and education….Don’t mess with a good thing!!!

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    • 100% agree. Also people working at government stores make a living wage and are able contribute back to the economy. Private seems to pay mostly minimum wage so only one person sees all the benefit.

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  198. One problem that i see with this website feedback is that current Liquor Retail Licence holders will post as customers and want the status quo. I hope the powers that be can see beyond that.

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  199. Our BC liquor laws are far overdue for change. In their effort to control alcohol consumption and limit sales to government owned agencies, the province is hindering economic growth, especially in areas such as tourism and local small business. I strongly advocate these changes:

    1) We live in the most beautiful province in the country and drinking should be allowed in public areas such as parks and beaches. Of-age individuals and/or families should not be punished for the consumption of alcohol in a civilized manner, nor should fences be put around beer gardens at outdoor concerts and public events.
    2) Alcohol should be available at grocery stores, convenience stores, etc. These businesses are already allowed to sell tobacco and are perfectly capable of identifying minors.
    3) The permitting system should be relaxed to allow more approval of new liquor license applications. The growth of small businesses such as neighbourhood pubs, wineries and wine bars should be encouraged. We need to support local business owners not make them jump through outdated licensing hoops.
    4) Remove tariffs at US borders. It’s ridiculous that we have to pay duty on Canadian wines that have been shipped to the US. I love supporting local Fraser Valley and Okanagan wineries but there’s something very wrong with the fact that Canadian wine costs a fraction of the price in Washington State (and beyond).

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    • IT’s called a Government which runs a monopoly on importing,
      and exploits it by charging astronomical markups.
      We have an addiction problem, but it’s not alcohol.
      It’s Government addiction to a stupid, unfair but hugely lucrative source of money — OUR money.

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  200. I enjoy the BC Government liquor stores, prices there are ok. Just need a few more outlets and open later. Beer and Wine should be available in Grocery stores. Remove law against open beer or wine in public so we can enjoy a beer or glass of wine in park or at beach. I still shake my head at the sight of a Couple enjoying picnic at Sunset on Vancouver Beach. Such a beautiful sight, ruined for them and us witnessing when they were ordered to pour out their glasses of wine and pour out remaining wine in Bottle by Vancouver police. Beautifully Romantic evening after hard day of Work, enjoying fruits of your labor, then being ordered sternly to pour out the wine. Police the drunks but not us who drink responsibly. Laws lower us all down to lowest common denominator as if were all a pack of redneck drunks. Spent many years in other parts of Country and overseas so find BC backward towards Beer and Wine whether Producing,selling and consuming. Nice to see changes being made. Great changes made already with beer small Brewery laws. Hope to see BC Beer and Wine sales increasing to Canada and Overseas. BC is producing international Gold Medal Winning Wines and Beers and should be supported with removal of costly restrictive red tape. We need to educate for responsible enjoyment of fine wines and beers. And allow us to bring kids into BC`s Beautiful pubs during day. Pubs in BC are built to such high standard with liberal use of BC lumber that have you looking around soaking up the great Architecture. Pubs also serve such great food its a shame I cannot bring kids in for lunch. Over the last few years I have seen Pubs taking the Brunt of anti smoking laws and super restrictive over .5 drinking laws How about for once give them a break and let them serve families during day and even supper turning back to serving adults only after 18:00hrs.

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    • I like what you have to say Tim with the exception of allowing children in pubs.
      If familys want a drink with their meals they should be able to do so in resteraunts, but a pub is for adults only, in my opinion.

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  201. We need more Government Liquor Stores. They are great to shop in, they have great selection and service but they need to be open longer and on Sundays. They do a great job. We need cold beer too. Open up stores in every community.

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  202. I’d like to see a lift of the restrictions on which spirits are allowed to be imported, and a reduction in liquor taxes so those spirits can be reasonably priced.

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  203. Hello Everyone,

    1) I propose that we have ONLINE ORDERING and DELIVERY of Cold Beer, Wine, and Spirits to customers. I have seen so many instances when a person who runs out of liquor and “has had only a few” drive off to the nearest liquor store to continue the party. If that person could order online, its a win-win situation. Eliminates drinking and driving. Generates more potential revenue for the government via taxes.

    2) Allow Grocery stores over a certain size to carry liquor. At the same time allow convenience stores to carry cold beer and wine.

    3) Privatize Liquor distribution. Drivers that are even contracted out (via F&G Ltd.) currently earn over $100,000 annually working M-F 10 months of the year.

    4) Time to close the Government Liquor stores. Why are they still open? At the same time, allow convenience (or any other) stores to get a retail license. Why are current retail licenses changing hands for over $1 Million. Was this the original purpose of this?

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    • I liquor licence with no business is only worth maybe $200,000. I know I buy them for owners. Only reason for us to issue more licences is if there was a shortage of stores, and right now BC has over 1,200 liquor retailers with no limit on the size these stores can get meaning a 1,000 sq ft store can grow to 10,000 sq feet to increase service of growing population. 1,200 is a lot for the population we have. Just like we don’t need 12,000 Starbucks, we do not need more liquor stores.

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  204. I noticed many people commented on lowering taxes on alcohol in BC. Although taxes re not low here as a private liquor consultant people should also know that a good part of the higher price paid here is a result of the producer wanting to charge us more( ie. the winery or import agent) . Just like with cars, books etc… Producers shipping to BC Boone the price compared to say the US because they know we are use to paying higher. When I have ordered beer direct from a producer and bypass an agent(importer), I can get a premium craft beer for $10.00 retail. When an agent pick it up I end up paying for the same beer $13-$20 for the same 6 pack. The BC government could let retailers order more directly without an import agent leading o lower prices.

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  205. Firstly I’d like to say thank you for opening up this discussion to BC’s very archaic liquor laws. Laws that are far behind the rest of the world.

    As a family man I’d love to see laws around minors in pubs/lounges/bars changed so that they are allowed in in the presence of an adult but not allowed to consume alcohol. I feel this has many benefits. One, it allows the “mystery” behind pubs/bars to be taken away and “normalized” for minors. Two, it means alcohol can be introduced at a younger age but not consumed, I feel, reducing the chances for alcohol abuse/binge drinking as young adults. Three, it allows us as a family to go to a pub/bar to watch a hockey game and enjoy a fun evening out promoting more time as a family and allowing us more time with friends that don’t have kids. Four, it allows us less expense for babysitting etc to enjoy an evening out, therefore saving us the added expense on top of an already costly night.

    I spent a lot of time as a young adult growing up in Australia and feel it works there as it does in Europe and the BC laws here seem very behind the times. As an added note, before people read this and think I need to drink or will drive home drunk with my family, I can’t drink due to medical reasons and I would never want to endanger my family in this way if I could and I hope others would do the same which brings me to my next point.

    BC needs to take a stronger stance on drinking and driving. In Australia they also have a very low tolerance for drink driving. There is a limit of .05 blood-alcohol when behind the wheel. There is random breath testing with the police setting up roadblocks at any where/any time they want including closing off bridges for hours and testing every driver that wants to cross (yes 5 lanes each way, no problem!!). Each police car has a breathalizer on board. It only takes a matter of seconds. If you are over .05 then you are charged (subject to a second more accurate blood test). You don’t have to be impaired in any way, you just have to be over the limit. On the first offense you can lose your drivers’ license for a period of time. It seems to be well accepted and it has been very successful in reducing alcohol-related accidents. In BC in 8 years of driving as a sales rep traveling up to 90,000kms a year I’ve been breath tested ONCE and that was a simple police officer leaning in my window to see if he could small alcohol on my breath. Sorry, but this is a VERY POOR effort to say the least and needs to be rectified to make the roads a safer place for all.

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    • several comments i would like to make to your message, all regarding your last paragraph. The discussion at hand is about liquor distribution and consumption, not about driving while intoxicated (the laws under review fall under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, where as drinking and driving fall under the Motor Vehicle Act, and the Criminal Code of Canada, neither of the latter are up for debate)

      Next, the “stronger” laws that you talk about other countries having, British Columbia adapted about a year ago, legal limit is .05, over which first offence will land you with a license suspension (i forget the length) and a vehicle impoundment of 3 calendar days, not including the day the vehicle is brought in, or released, second offence is a license suspension of a specific time, and a vehicle impound of 7 days, not including first or last, and third offence for .05 or over, or any offence of .08 or over, is a 30 day impoundment and a 90 day license suspension, plus possible enrolment in the breathalyser program.

      in addition to this, an officer can, at his discretion, and any BAC, impose a 12 or 24 hours license suspension and/or vehicle impoundment.

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    • I would agree with Erik Andrew regarding allowing families into bars/restaurants that serve alcohol. I recently was with a family who had a 17 year old son, and we wanted appetizers and drinks on a Saturday afternoon, patio preferred. We started at one end of New Westminster, and had to walk, and walk, until we found one. We thought this was ridiculous. We were all dressed up for a wedding, but because the young man was not 19, we could not go in to the majority of places. All the rest of us were 30 and over (6 of us). The age policy definitely needs to be relaxed.
      Second, I agree with the laxness of our drinking driving laws. I have lived in the lower mainland ALL MY LIFE, in many communities (Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby, New West, Coquitlam), and have been stopped and seriously questioned in a roadblock ONCE!!!! And it’s not like I have been at home in the evenings, I have always had a very active social life, continuing to attend restaurants, pub fundraisers, etc and never seeing police presence.

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  206. As a liquor retailer I know that 99.9 % of people buy the booze they want before the stores in BC close at 11pm. You would not want to hang out with and I would not want( nor could under most cases event if it is illegal as they are often drunk), to sell to the type of person shopping for booze at midnight. Same go’s for the person who wants booze before 9am. Police in BC would also likely oppose this as it would increase drunken and violent incidents.
    I would also never want to risk sales staff lives from the increased chance of robberies by being open later. If people want booze they can go to night clubs open later. Have clubs stay open later would be lower risk and can control the service of alcohol more.

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  207. Sell booze in stores and let people take it from province to province and outside of Canada. People will drink if its illegal or not, why hide it and try to control it. Its the people who control alcohol not the government.

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  208. I tend to get passionate about things. With liquor I like try and find better and better drinks and really explore what the world has to offer. My issue is most of my favorite wines and lots of my favorite spirits are not available in BC. Liquor stores are limited to what BCL decides to bring in. I like that the BCL has some buying power and the booze is very affordable, but I think individual liquor stores should have a way to import what their clientele wants to buy. Or make it not a nightmare for individuals to import booze. I don’t mind paying (hefty) tax if I can get the selection I want. It sucks not being able to buy what I am passionate about.

    My other concern is the lack of support for liquor retail in BC. First of all from what I can tell there is nothing in the rules about online stores. Why can’t someone do a wine club or sell liquor online and not have a brick and mortar establishment? Another thing is you are not allowing applications for a liquor store licence or beer & wine store licences. It seems awfully anti-competitive.

    In BC we traditionally limit what responsible people can do because of the few that are not. I agree with the 0.05 blood alcohol limit with driving (even though it really affects me), but I wish I had more flexibility with what I can buy.

    Thanks for providing a forum for feedback!

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    • Be grateful that you’re not a wine drinker. DUe to some kind of weird populist impulse, the GOv’t lets booze and beer [except local craft beer!]
      off relatively easy, but punishes us wine drinkers right in the pocketbook.

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  209. What I have noticed is a number of people advocating liquor allowed on beaches, parks etc… And sales in grocery stores have no to little experiace dealing with liquor retailing or its effects. As a liquor retail consultant who has managed private stores for over a decade and seen many changes I can state the following.
    1, Allowing alcohol at beaches and parks would cause issues. Unlike Europe, our culture is not the same. Public consumption in parks and beaches may increase sale for stores I have set up but Canadians would and consume closer to Americans. Drinking in public in parts of US is a major cost to police and a major problem. Allowing it in parks would lead to less family use of parks( as I would not take my kids to a park or beach with drunk adults), would allow more Acess to minors at beaches and parks and would increase drunk driving and drownings. Police, retailers of liquor and CRD or parks departments do not want it either so it is unclear why the Liberals announced this as an idea. It would also cost police and parks more to deal with if allowed and the Liberals will not fund this extra cost.
    2, Allowing in Grocery stores. As a liquor consultant this would be in my interest as large Grocery chains would hire me but It would not be in the publics interest. For one it would damage the businesses of 1200 retailers that BC already has, including the LDB Gov stores that bring in 100 millions in profit for health care, schools every year etc… As a retail consultant i can tell you most coner store owners and grocery retailers would be less capable or less interested in not selling to minors or intoxicated people.If grocery stores sold alcohol,gov sales would drop and the Liberals would need to raise taxes to make up for lost funds from government stores. I am pretty sure most people don’t want higher taxes.
    3,Privitizing Gov stores. Here is the main reason. Unlike what most private liquor stores tell you or grocery stores who want to sale alcohol, I will tell you a secret. Private retailers including grocery stores would almost always charge you higher prices,and if the government stores were not around all the grocery stores and private retailers would charge you even more. Why? . Because if you did not have a government store to choose from, private stores would start charging you $15 plus for a domestic beer. Consumers could not stop us and just like with gas prices, expect to be scalped.

    What would I support that would modernize BC rules;
    1, Eliminating licences for special events. This fee is just a hidden tax and almost never leads to inspection of events.
    2, Increase discount to private stores from 16 to 20%, but only if the store agrees to sale product at government liquor store price or below with no chill charge. This would bring a lot more government store priced stores to consumers helping to service customers in areas with no government stores.
    3, Allow private stores to rent full sized kegs. Customers often ask for events but have a hard time getting kegs, even from government stores.
    4, Allow growler filling station in stores, but only if product poured in BC grown and made. This is green as consumers reuse bottles, it would increase consumption of BC craft beers, wines and ciders and lead to increased BC jobs and increased taxes for gov. These stations are legal in France, Australia ,most US states including California,OR, Washington,Alaska and Alberta.

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  210. I believe this consultation would be more efficient if there were organized topic areas on the website, e.g. purchasing/stores, hours of sale, wine industry, beer industry, arts venues, public places, units and prices, etc. It’s a great first day, but the discussion could be more tightly focused, especially given the short time frame to roll out topic areas and build community knowledge and consensus around particular reforms.

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  211. Drinking and driving is not an issue of the availability of alcohol, it is an issue of the availability of public transit. I bet if we were to increase public transit, especially at night and on weekends, we would see the number of DUIs and alcohol-related accidents decrease. Also, businesses would be able to thrive if their clientele had a safe, fast and affordable way to get home after enjoying a few drinks.

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    • absolutely. there’s no point finding new ways to get people drinking more if you can’t offer them public transportation to get home safely when the venues close. a whole lot of public drunkenness, littering, vandalism is happening downtown not just because of alcohol, but because those kids from the burbs have become aware of the mean trick translink has played on them and they are trashing the place. next time they’ll plan ahead and drive. home drunk. john yap had better work something out with translink or this whole consultation is invalid.

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      • patrons of granville street bars are not the only demographic affected by early train closures. many live music venues and other cultural centres have closing times that are later than translink’s last scheduled train. i’ve missed many a show that i paid hard earned money to see because i had to run for last train, and they hadn’t even taken the stage yet. once transit reforms, there will be endless opportunity for other reforms that would allow people to really enjoy the city comfortably, and at their leisure. not at great expense and distress as at present. this city has a night life and for some reason translink is refusing to service it. the other option is to close everything down at midnight. which is fine with me, i’m getting old and i gotta work in the morning…

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    • If we had more local pubs, we could walk to them instead of having to drive… If we don’t drive, we can’t drive drunk.

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  212. In all honesty, yes our liquor laws in B.C. could use some tweaking.

    Personally I believe we should abolish the drinking in public law altogether. I believe it is overkill and punishes responsible people who also make up the majority of individuals in society. There will always be the very tiny minority of people who tend to ruin things for everybody, but the focus should be on punishing them and not the majority of people who are responsible. It’s insulting to responsible people to be treated like children in a society where our taxes go to pay for such law enforcement.

    We have laws that outlaw public intoxication and rightfully so. We have laws against littering in public, which again, rightfully so.

    So why the overkill in not allowing adults to consume alcoholic beverages while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors here in B.C.?

    Focus on the problems and issues instead of blanketing laws that punish the majority and treats them all as children and doesn’t ever achieve what it intends to do. People already drink in public literally every day and no one knows because its overwhelmingly responsible and truly not a big deal.

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  213. Privatize now. Why does the entire population have to pay 50-100% more to subsidize a very small minority of government workers? Free markets mean lower prices for consumers and lower prices.

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  214. Count me as another British Columbia who wants to be able to buy beer and wine at the grocery store.

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  215. Close all government run liquor stores,paying in excess of $20+ an hour to stock shelves,plus benifits is excessive,,,,service is surly and information is non existent! Open up to private enterprise,better service,longer hours and less expensive. You can’t in our store get cold beer or wine,,,hello!

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    • Typical of the behaviour of a Monopoly.
      No need to cater to the customers, they have no alternative.
      Hot tongue, cold shoulder . . . and warm beer!

      However, the Victoria LDB stores have recently improved.
      Service is polite altho the selection is still bizarre, the corked wines are still upright on the shelves, and the beer is still warm.
      Maybe the management is getting worried about the remote possibility of real competition…

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  216. As a homebrerwer of beer, I would like to see the regs changed to make it legal to transport my homebrew beer to a friend’s place where we can together enjoy homebrew beer legally. I’d like to see the legalization of homebrew competitions; both within the context of local homebrew groups and within local officially run beer festivals. Furthermore, while I can take my child with me to a restaurant like Original Joe’s and enjoy a beer while she has her french fries, I cannot do the same thing at our local pub since minors are not allowed. Other juristictions allow minors to be accompanied by an adult in such establishments up to a certain time, like 8pm, when it then becomes adults only. This in my view would be another area of change worthy of consideration.

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  217. Please consider;

    1) Create a new liquor license that permits minors on the premises of live music venues while alcohol is served to those aged 19 and older.

    2) Overhaul BC’s Special Occasion Licenses and base the categories of licenses on audience size rather than public vs. private.

    3) Increase the frequency BC’s Special Occasion Licenses can be granted.

    4) Repeal Policy Directive 12-09, which disallows liquor primary venues from temporarily de-licensing to host an event for people of all ages.

    5) Reform liquor primary application to make it less prohibitively expensive, a shorter wait time, permit them for video arcades

    thanks!

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    • Agree with the first 3 points particularly, and would add:
      For many not-for-profit societies, hosting special events is one way to raise funds needed to provide community services. In small communities, with a much smaller consumer base and consequently limited profit making potential, the process and cost of SOL is onerous and expensive. For example, serving wine at an art show opening or having a beer garden at a local festival involves too much hassle and expense to make it worthwhile. Some other suggestions:

      1) Allow NFP societies to obtain one licence for ongoing special occasions (like a concert series), perhaps renewed on an annual basis.
      2) Allow for discounted liquor purchases for fundraising purposes.
      3) Consider the size of the event when imposing regulations. We aren’t exactly the Vancouver Sea Festival here, so having to have security guards and double fencing is kind of overkill.
      4) Improve the documentation for SOL applications. Sometimes even the liquor stores clerks don’t know the rules. Its not clear who is approving what – the police, the LDB, the liquor inspector or the municipality.

      Some people just ignore the whole thing and do what they want (eg beer at baseball games), but directors of a society can’t take that risk, due to personal liability.

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  218. Every year I play beach volleyball at Jericho beach and nothing’s better than having one or two cold beers between your games. The police patrols it every day and tickets those unlucky bunch who fail to hide their beer just in time. People in this league are responsible and very mature, they don’t get rowdy or drink and drive back home. I would like to see some changes that addresses this issue. Thanks for taking the time and reading this comment.

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    • Hiding your beer is not very responsible or mature.

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  219. Off sales should mean just that. They are not really off sales if they are only sold until cold beer and wine stores close. In other country’s off sales are sold until the establishment selling them closes. the lack of this service leads to pirate sales, putting our revenue in the hands of black market retailers.

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  220. Many helpful comments here. I’d like to add my thoughts as follows:

    1. Collectors and Travellers should be given greater freedom with reduced costs

    Vacationers should be given much more than 2 free bottles at the border (maybe 1 case is fair?). It is unfair that someone returning from a honeymoon in Napa with a case of wine has to pay 123% tax on 10 of their vacation wines. This will impact casual travellers only. While I don’t have the numbers, I can’t imagine the impact on the bottom line would be significant. Another alternative is to lower the duties, as they are obscene right now.

    Allow individuals and wine clubs to special order wines from anywhere they want. Tax the imports but don’t prevent collectors from bringing in special wines or joining the wine clubs of foreign wineries so long as they are willing to pay a reasonable markup. The LCBO already permits this and it will have 0 negative impact on revenues. In fact, it could even increase revenues.

    2. Improve taxation structure while maintaining/increasing revenues

    Strongly consider a flat tax system that will maintain or increase revenues. The current system taxes cheaper wines at a far greater percentage than expensive wines. This is regressive taxation and is unfair for the majority of wine buyers who pay less then $30 a bottle. If you are a wealthy collector, many very high end wines (i.e. above $150) are in fact the same or a similar price to the U.S. Great wine should be accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. This is possible while maintaining or increasing social reference pricing. The idea is, through a flat tax, to lower taxes on wines that are now between $20-$40 so that better wine is accessible to people with less money. It seems feasible to design a system (similar to AB for example) where a flat tax improves pricing at the ‘$20-$40′ range but maintains revenues (e.g. higher taxes on the extremely cheap booze and overall less regressive taxation).

    3. BC Liquor Store transparency

    Make each individual liquor store justify its existence by fairly measuring revenues/costs for each store. Stores that lose money should be closed or sold. This does not require the government to exit retail, but rather allows it to focus on the profitable stores (e.g. 39th and Cambie, Bute) and let the private sector handle stores/locations at which the LDB is currently losing money. It seems like a win-win scenario.

    4. Support creativity and small businesses

    While apparently not on the table, the current moratorium on licenses has made it impossible for young, creative, entrepreneurial types to start their own businesses in the city. Much top talent has left the city because there is little outlet for their creativity. An example is, why can’t a passionate sommelier open a cafe that serves local artisinal coffee alongside selling a few special bottles of wine that ascribe to a certain theme or ethos. Most great cities have specialty shops (e.g. only Italian wine, only natural wine, only local beer, etc.). There is almost nothing of that sort in Vancouver, which deters creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. If granting new licenses is not possible, consider loosening the rules by which people can import and sell wine directly to consumers via email lists and other marketing events. These are niche businesses only, but right now they are impossible.

    5. Allow wine and beer stores to serve alcohol with the appropriate license

    There are many great shops all over the United States that operate as sampling bars and wine stores. I.e. A wine bar that also sells retail or vice/versa. These tend to be niche places that cater to a particular clientele and do not create problems. Their licenses do not have to extend late – they can operate between 11am-7pm and be for retail customers only. Why not allow a glass of wine and a bite to eat while shopping (see, for example, Solano cellars in Berkeley, Terroir in San Francisco, City Beer in San Francisco, Bar Ferdinand in Seattle, etc., etc.) None of these places have created issues and all are respectful to their neighbourhood.

    Why does wine and beer sampling have to take place in such sterile environments in the city now? Why do wine samples have to be poured in plastic cups? An example of this irrational policy can be found at the BCLDB at 39th and cambie during the annual premium spirits release. Customers have to taste $200+ whisky out of tiny plastic cups that do not allow anyone to smell or taste the whisky properly. Customers are limited to 2 1 oz samples. What is the fear? Can’t people be their own judge? If you are concerned with over-sampling by people who aren’t going to actually buy anything, then charge for the sample. This is but one example.

    6. Reform Licensing Branch Attitudes and awareness of Law

    The liquor licensing branch constantly operates contrary to its own statute and regulations. They are unaware of the law and create illegal rules that force licensees to go to judicial review in order to have the courts enforce what is both right and legal. This should not be the case. The Branch should stop viewing licensees as the enemy and start working with them to achieve its policy goals. Most licensees want to cooperate with the branch to ensure liquor is being served safely and within rational rules. It is in no one’s interest to create issues with minors, the neighbourhoods, etc.

    Also, the ‘minors as agents’ program needs a serious review as it is operating ineffectively and unfairly. I’d also note that the Branch adjudicators seem to have no knowledge of what ‘due diligence’ means at law and rarely, if ever, find in favour of licensees who have some of the best liquor compliance programs around (some even more stringent than LDB stores).

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  221. Please allow Tim Horton’s to be able to sell shots of Bailey’s in their coffee. Especially in the mornings! Thanks!

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  222. Please don’t allow minors into pubs, or restaurants that have an ‘adult’ side like some Boston Pizza’s. There are many adults that like to have a nice quiet time and be able to hold a conversation without yelling across the table due to loud and obnoxious kids. Many parents/couples go out to pubs for a reason: NO KIDS!!!

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    • I think I have had more conversations ruined by loud and obnoxious adults than by children.

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  223. Of course, public drunkenness, impaired driving, and littering laws should be strictly enforced; those are actual crimes, with real social, health, and economic costs. But it’s absolutely ludicrous that it’s illegal to have a civilized beer or glass of wine while enjoying the outdoors. Adults should absolutely be allowed to consume alcohol in parks and on public beaches, without hiding it like naughty children or disguising it as something else.

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  224. Liquor should be treated like other commodities and privatized. Majority of provinces and states have private liquor distribution and retail, and the level of complaints is much lower. Privatization is democratic. Consumers do not deal with a giant monopoly that can set the prices and encourage graft. Rather they deal with a multitude of suppliers and can choose the one that has highest value. Just like going to the polls.

    Government liquor is socialism while private liquor is democracy and freedom. We need to uphold our democratic principles at all times.

    Government liquor results in another layer of bureaucracy and above market union pay (which hits the pockets of all BC citizens just to benefit the selected few), and inefficiency/graft.

    Government has no business in commodity distribution.

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    • The thing with the province selling booze is that it’s a cash cow and generates a steady stream of revenue every year.

      And all that revenue goes right back into the province while if it were privatized, the revenue would go into private bank accounts.

      Not to mention the prices of liquor are higher in private retail stores while their employees earn less money.

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      • The revenue should be the same if sold at a private or public store as the government make it money on the wholesale markups not the retail.

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      • Very true, and the Soviet Union was run on similar ideas…

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  225. I am 100% apposed to these liquor control changes. Vancouver’s mayor and chief of police are saying what seems obvious to many, Vancouver is in an epidemic of mental health issues, I would venture to say there are no geographical borders in mental health. Making access to alcohol less restriction is inconceivable. When does mental health, both individual and collective, become a priority?

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  226. The Special Occasion Licensing system is completely impossible to conform with. I work in a small art gallery. We want to be able to offer beer and wine in small quantities during openings. This is a customary practice and very common in the art world. In order to comply with regulations we need to apply for a public SOL which costs $100 (likely much more than we ever make in a night on sales) on top of that we have to pay taxes on an estimated number of drinks whether or not we sell them. We have to provide a security plan, a layout of our space, and provide all of this to the police department 6 weeks before our event. We also have to erect a 6-foot tall plastic fence around our serving area as though it was an outdoor beer garden at a festival. This is complete overkill. Why can’t we just pay the $25 fee like a private event and skip all of the other regulations? Nobody actually applies for these licenses properly because it is *impossible* to comply. If you made it simple you would know where the alcohol is being served and you could generate some revenue. Everything happens underground because it’s too difficult.

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    • YES. This is a big problem.

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  227. There are good ways to regulate liquor and bad ways. BC does both, and I’m glad they are letting us have some input on changing them.

    -I agree that allowing alcohol in parks and beaches is a good thing to an extent, police have already stated they want this because it makes things easier for them to track who exactly is driving intoxicated rather than trying to guess since everyone is hiding alcohol. It also allows them to better assess the overall situation at a public area rather than having to go around looking for people with alcohol.
    I do think that not all parks and all parts of every beach should be alcohol friendly. There are people who don’t want that around their families or themselves and they should be able to have that option. So while some parks should allow alcohol, some shouldn’t and it should be clearly posted, while different areas at beaches should be alcohol free.

    - No minors in a liquor primary establishment hurts the business, it cut down on the number of customers who can go there. I’m talking about families who now can’t go have brunch, lunch or dinner somewhere cause they can’t bring their kids.
    This is just silly really, bars and pubs are extremely good at making sure not to serve minors and also have to look like the villains currently when someone comes in and they say, “sorry you can’t bring in your three year old, you have to leave.” People generally take it out on the poor bartender/server who is just following the law.
    There is no reason though for minors to be in a liquor primary business without an adult, or after 9pm.

    -The Police of Victoria had a good point about the Special Occasion Licenses, I agree with their take that it is insanely hard for festivals and events to get these and it effects their draws, how much they will earn at the event, the enjoyment of patrons and generally if the event will return.

    -Allowing general retailers to sell alcohol isn’t a bad idea. I think that the diversity of liquor will suffer, but the government could still make it’s tax revenue and not have to pay for the upkeep of liquor stores and staff. Meanwhile it will be more convenient to customers.
    The saved money from not having to operate it’s own establishments could be funded right into programs to deal with addiction. Which is a huge concern, but generally if someone wants a substance, they will get it, it doesn’t matter how hard it is to come by.

    -A huge concern of many is minors having access to alcohol, generally stiffer penalties to those who sell to minors, or purchase alcohol for minors is a good way to deter this, other than that it generally comes down to parents keeping tabs on their kids and making sure their own alcohol is secure.

    -One thing that definitely needs to be abolished is BC’s laws regarding transporting alcohol out of province. I enjoy knowing I am breaking the law every time I send or receive a bottle of wine from my family in Ontario. It hurt the industry and I don’t see how it improves public safety in any way.

    -To combat driving under the influence, I think it should be reinforced that establishments will be fined if they allow someone to drive away and an easy direct line for businesses to contact police if someone refuses to not drive after consuming.

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  228. Short and sweet:

    -Allow the sale of ALL alcohol in grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations
    -Allow kids into pubs with their parents
    -Allow consumption of alcohol in public places (no beergarden fences)
    -Allow restaurants and bars to offer “Happy Hour” specials.
    -Lower legal drinking age to 18.

    Please, please, please do it quickly. The current system is antiquated and primitive and we have been stuck with it for far too long.

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    • Why would any adult want to take their children to a pub. It is totally the wrong atmosphere. Besides, most adults go there to get away from a family setting.

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  229. I see no reason why there can’t be BOTH options. At the Liquor Store, the prices are more reasonable than a Beer and Wine store. Why not open up the market? Competition is good. Why shouldn’t the government compete?

    How about a look at the tax grab on liquor as well? Living close to the US border, I shop there often. And, when I compare the prices of the same brands, it really drives home how much the government is charging the consumer in taxes.

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  230. For starters, the Provincial Government should be out of the alcohol retail business. I point to the Alberta model as a successful one. This would result in a considerable savings to the Province in administrative, infrastructure and salary costs. As well, I am not in favor of an across the board relaxing of regulations. I enjoy our beaches and parks as alcohol free venues. People still drink but it has a moderating effect them knowing that they could be ticketed. I would also encourage consideration of the idea of selling beer and wine in grocery outlets.

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  231. I am repeating what many, thankfully, have already stated. Our liquor laws are archaic and deal to the lowest common denominator. The changes I would like to see most are:

    1) alcohol sales in grocery stores/convenience stores. How this makes it easier for underage or problem drinkers, is beyond me. Alcoholics will find booze no matter what, and last time I checked, ID is still required to purchase alcohol. So, please make it easier to buy for the majority of us!

    2) Allowing alcohol consumption in parks/beaches. The vast majority of people that would enjoy this change are responsible adults wanting to enjoy a picnic out on a date or with their family. Drunk/obnoxious/problem people will appear in these locations (and DO!) anyways. Don’t punish the responsible people…deal with the problem people!

    3) LOWER the prices/taxes on wine – especially for local/BC wines!

    4) Eliminate the ridiculous rules and restrictions on liquor licenses. By this I mean allowing all liquor to be sold and consumed in any location that has a LIQUOR license. Why can I not go to a Canucks game and have a mixed drink throughout the building – only beer/wine? Why would an Arena require multiple liquor licenses to cover each level of their building and have stupid stipulations like, staircases not covered by that license? (insanity!!). Allow restaurants/lounges to serve alcohol during their business hours – not limited to a time frame (ie: only between 11am-12pm).

    The bottom line is, when it comes to our Liquor laws in BC, we the public are ADULTS, permitted to purchase alcohol, but are being treated like children.

    A change is LONG overdue!!

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  232. B.C. needs to drop the puritan liquor laws. In Europe you can buy liquor in any grocery store, I would Love to see this here! The ability to pick up a bottle of BC wine, or locally brewed beer with my groceries would be wonderful.
    When we have family from England visiting, they cannot believe how tight the booze regulations are… can’t have a beer at the beach, no glass of wine watching the sunset, how ridiculous. Lighten up, not everyone is going to go booze crazy and stagger down Granville Street at noon 3 sheets to the wind just because they were able to purchase their tipple at the Safeway, give the population a little more credit than that.
    There is nothing nicer than a beer garden at a pub, where families are welcomed, the fact that it’s a family friendly setting deters unruly behaviour. Bad behaviour and public aggression should not be tolerated at all, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Same with the drink driving legislation, there should be absolutely no relaxation on those laws.
    But the ability to responsibly enjoy an alcoholic beverage in a public place should be allowed, it’s only civilized.

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  233. The last few years I spent quite a few months travelling around Europe. After being there long enough to see their liqours laws and the effects on society I was rather upset to return home back to liqour laws that i don’t think make sense. Here is what I think should be changed

    1. We should allow grocery stores/gas stations etc to sell alcohol. There isn’t really any reason not to allow this. For anyone that thinks any different plenty of modern countries allow this without any problems.

    2. I feel drinking in public should be allowed. What is wrong with someone having a beer by the lake? Public intoxication is already illegal and enforced. I was in Frankfurt for a week last year. Purchased cider at a grocery store and then proceeded to the river where me and a few friends enjoyed the beautiful summer day while having a couple of ciders. Why should this be illegal?? For anyone that thinks people are going to be drunk walking around in public all the time please just take look at any many other countries with legal public drinking. If anything these laws have made a very mature and adult like public view of alcohol.

    3. As far as the drinking age goes i don’t personally see anything wrong with an 18 year old being able to drink. They are going to be drinking regardless of whether its legal or not.

    BC’s liquor laws ( and Canada’s for that matter) are outdated and in my mind doing more harm than good. If we want our children to have a mature outlook on alcohol maybe its time that our government took that stance first.

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  234. should allow importation of wines direct to your home from out of the Province.

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  235. Fix the Special Occasions Licenses system. Right now the two types of licenses are public and private. Private is easy to get and public is much harder. That means it’s very difficult to get a license for a public piano recital for less than 10 people, but where those 10 people weren’t invited and just wander in off the street. On the other hand it’s very easy to get a license for a large rock concert, as long as the guests bought advance tickets or were “invited,” like on Facebook or whatever. The social media era has made invitations so quick and easy and difficult to prove, that the whole system is obsolete. Instead, it should be easy to get a license for a small event (say less than 100 people) and harder to license a large event (more than 100 people). Changing this would enable small public events to sell alcohol in a legal manner – right now they basically have to lie about “inviting” all their guests.

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  236. I find it embarrassing to explain to overseas guests that we’re required to buy from a state liquor store. I think we should be able to purchase in grocery stores. When I first moved here and went for dinner, the server explained that I had to intend to eat if I wanted to order a beer before the meal. However, on the other hand, the state liquor store didn’t serve food at all! It seems to me that the state should be encouraging people to buy their drinks with produce, not the other way round. Also, the BC Gov’t seems keen to reduce drink driving, but, for many British Columbians, the only way to get to the state liquor store is often to drive! To complicate issues, even if you’re closer to a state shop, hours are restrictive, so some may be tempted to do the ‘beer run’ by car to avoid disappointment. If the BC Government really wanted to encourage healthy consumption and reduce drunk driving, it would seem to make more sense if we were able to purchase from the local grocery store.

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    • You make a very good point about having to drive to access the provincial liquor outlets, this is especially relevant in the more rural areas where the number of licensed outlets are limited according to density of population thus forcing consumers to drive farther distances, this seems a silly law. If more outlets were within walking distance it only stands to reason that less people would be tempted to get in their cars…

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  237. Allow minors inside alcohol primary establishments with cultural programs – eg: licensed music venues. It’s not fair that teenagers can’t go see their favourite bands. Use wristbands or physical barriers or extra security staff to ensure there’s no underage drinking.

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  238. Few thoughts:
    - keep the liquor store model but have more that are open later and on Sundays. The liquor stores have the best selection and friendly staff.
    - allow movie theatres to sell drinks and allow you to consume them in the theatre.
    - allow drinks at select beaches
    - allow more outdoor patios

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  239. Having cold beer and wine hours that end at 11pm by law produces a black market of liqour resellers with inflated prices and negligent values. Do not impose this on the operators of cold beer and wine operators.

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  240. As a young (but over legal drinking age) person myself, I want to address the concern for increase in public drunkenness, violence and public safety. Yes, putting alcohol in grocery stores does increase exposure of alcoholic beverages to a younger audience, however this does not necessarily create an increase in under age drinking. Unfortunately, since the age of 14 alcohol was readily available to me and my peers despite only being available in liquor stores. Teenage drinking will occur regardless of where alcohol can be purchased. An increase in where alcohol can be purchased by now means creates an increase for violence and a further threat to public safety. Please show me what empirical evidence supports this notion. Furthermore, I agree with a need for new taxation policies and the availability of alcohol in grocery stores. We are one are the very few developed countries that does not currently practice this. Get with the times B.C. !

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  241. I live in Atlin, B.C.. We are located 30kms south of the Yukon border near Whitehorse, Yukon. I am the President of our local Recreation Centre. We run a small clubroom from our premises to raise funds to pay for our infrastructure. Our liquor orders come from Vancouver. Our most popular beers are locally brewed in Whitehorse just over the border. The problem we have is that the local beers are shipped to Vancouver and return shipped back to Whitehorse where our local shipping company picks them up and brings them to us. In a day and age when carbon foot printing is the big conversation, why on earth are we doing something so ridiculous and this? We have no ability to ship directly over the border from Whitehorse to Atlin. We often have the problem of available stock to ship to us because of this crazy law. This particular law of only purchasing from a B.C. warehouse is problematic to our situation. It appears there is no flexibility to these laws and we would love to see this changed.

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  242. 1. Privatise all government alcohol stores and distribution, if they are successful they will survive if not they will close, tax revenue should not be used to fund unprofitable businesses.
    2. Allow supermarkets to sell alcohol, if the concern is control of purchasing make them separate premises within the supermarket, but with the same opening hours.
    3. Decriminalise alcohol in the home, allow parents to introduce alcohol to their children in a responsible way, so that there is no mystique associated to it in the child’s mind
    4. Allow alcohol in parks and on beaches. This rule is widely flaunted and by keeping it you are criminalizing otherwise law abiding citizens.
    5. Remove tariffs at US borders, Duty will have been paid to bring into the US why do we have to pay Duty again to bring into Canada

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  243. Let’s join the 20th century and allow the purchase of alcohol in grocery stores, at least. In the U.S. it’s even available in most drugstore chains.

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    • I Couldn’t agree more! Imagine buying your wine for dinner at the same place you purchased the food. What a concept!

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  244. It seems to me that the easier it is to buy alcohol, the fewer problems there are. In Europe, you can buy wine and beer virtually anywhere that sells food. The same goes in most US states particularly California where I spend 5 months a year. I can truly say I see less problems in these places in terms of drunkenness than I do in B.C. One place I buy virtually cards everyone and when I asked why, the response was that selling to minors means losing your retail license and it is very difficult and expensive to get it back not to mention the loss of business. The age limit is 21 in the U.S. which I think it should be in Canada but that’s a revenue stream no province is going to give up.
    I have little hope that this discussion will change much because the outrageous prices we pay in BC is a great source of revenue for the government who are also scared to take on the unions of BCLD stores. How people who stock shelves and scan purchases should be paid twice what they are worth with huge benefits is beyond me but that’s a union for you.

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    • I share your fear. However, Minister Yap has now let the genie out of the [wine] bottle, so maybe some modest reforms will come to pass. Let’s hope.
      However, I bet that we will continue to pay twice as much for BC wines
      as the folks in Calgary or Bellingham do. Governments are addicted to tax revenue.

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  245. The “Bring Your Own Wine” program should set a reasonable limit on the corkage fee that the business is allowed to charge the customer (for the privilege of drinking the wine they brought with them).

    The reason that this is needed is that some businesses are pretending to embrace the program while charging exorbitant corkage fees to ensure that customers will not use the program. Simply as an example, I have seen corkage fees as high as $30, and perhaps not so coincidentally, this was in a restaurant where their lowest priced wine was $30.

    On the whole, the question needs to be asked whether the principle of this program has been implemented in earnest, if it still permits unethical businesses to undermine it.

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    • Great idea, if you want to put all your favourite restaurants out of business. The profit margin on food is minuscule; restaurants serve liquor–and charge a lot for it–because that’s the only way they can keep the doors open.

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      • Really, and all of the restaurants that do not sell liquor lose money? Standard food cost should be 30% or less, a 233% markup to pay for staff and rent isn’t miniscule. I know many multimillionaire restauranteurs that consider profits from booze to be a nice bonus. They certainly don’t concentrate on it like they do the food!

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  246. I am not opposed and do actually like minimum pricing of Wine / Beer / Hard Alcohol. What I don’t like is that fact that someone like me a wine lover/collector gets punished from people wanting to just drink the cheapest wine. A Per Case [or per littler price tax] is the best 90% of the wine is under 20$. so 15$ wine has $7.50 in taxes per bottle, if that $7.50 was applied to lets say a $40 Oregon Pinot Noir it would cost me 47.50 and not $80! and everyone would be happy, same thin with quality scotch, and beer

    Another big problem in hurting canadians is us vacation loving, american traveling canadians, I would love to come back to Canada after a week in Walla Walla, Willamette Valley, and bring back 1, 2 , 3 cases of wine, and not end up paying $1000 in duty, lower the taxes on briniging back [as the limit is set up federal to my understanding]

    It should not be illegal to drink wine at a park, I bring wine all the time when i go for Picnic, I would like to have a nice drink with a family bbq and not worry about police.

    Wine Auction, Would love to see Local companies do wine auctions of old wine especially, if i want to buy wine from someones cellar technically its illegal and well I guess I know people who break the law then

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  247. I am glad to read all the comments on a definite majority of people in BC wanting the sale of liquor to change to the private sector and removing Government Liquor stores. We’ll see if we really live in a democracy where the government acts on the requests of the people or if they continue with their own agenda. I moved to southern BC 5 years ago from Alberta to a town of over 5000 people with an additional 5000+ surrounding area population to find two bars having a liquor store attached and a government liquor store. Does this make sense. I started looking into opening up a liquor store, only to find out there was a moratorium (set in 1992)on any new liquor stores. What kind of government stops free enterprise. Seems like a nobrainer to me, create more jobs, create competition, increase government revenue, increase convenience. If the current government wants to make a name for themselves and remain in power, privatization is the key. Liquor sales privatization would hopefully be a start to privatizing other government run programs like insurance and hunting LEH allocations in BC. We really need to get out of the stone age here.

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  248. I spent five years living in Ontario/Quebec where there are more modern liquor laws. I could and did bring my 14 year old daughter to the pub to watch hockey games and enjoy reasonably priced meals. Being allowed into pubs before she was legal drinking age took all the mystery out of them for her and after moving back here she never had any need to go see what the fuss was about. My daughter never goes into a pub or bar except to watch sports or enjoy a meal now. Her early exposure led her to think of a pub as a place to watch sports and share a meal, not a place to get drunk. Alcohol is sold in grocery stores (and gas station in Quebec) as well as longer sale hours and I saw less public drunken behavior despite people being allowed to drink on the beach and at certain parks. Lower prices did not appear to result in greater consumption; what I saw was lower income people and the homeless were able to buy food as well as liquor. Laws don’t prevent alcohol abuse or under age drinking. Laws simply compound the problem by putting people with drinking problems in jail instead of into treatment. Redirect some of the tax money collected from alcohol sales away from government and into treatment facilities and education programs about the dangers of addiction. Let us, the people, grow up and make our own decisions instead of trying to make them for us.

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  249. I do not want to see change in the law re
    -consuming alcohol in public parks/beachs
    -sale of alcohol in supermarkets/stores
    -children in pubs/beer gardens

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    • I agree with you about the children in pubs/beer gardens etc. But I would love to buy a wine to go with my meal at the same store.

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  250. Public drinking in parks.

    I am very much in favour. Codes of conduct would generally be better than booze patrols. Rowdiness isn’t generally an issue in my experience but should be addresses to calm peoples’ fears; isn’t public drunkenness against the law anyway?

    I live near a beach where drinking (and soft drug use) has been tolerated for years. I have never witnessed an act of violence or harassment.

    My only beef is the BC phenomenon of leaving empty bottles and cans strewn about for the homeless to collect. It’s an eyesore and an indignity to those who make a living off it – yet we leave our bottles on the beach as though we’re doing a “public service”. Interestingly, people rarely smash the bottles, leading me to believe that they generally leave them on purpose, rather than simply being a case of carelessness or boorishness.

    This is a bizarre practice that needs to change. Perhaps the bottle deposits should be higher to encourage people to take the time to clean up after themselves, and/or allow cities to install bottle/can specific receptacles at parks and beaches that the public (ie, bottle collectors) can easily open and collect the empties if they wish.

    Certainly legalizing alcohol in parks is a good step, but dealing with the litter issue at the same time would be a very welcome combination. More rules aren’t necessary – just the right incentives to keep public drinking respectful and litter-free.

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  251. To my mind the role of Government in liquor operations should be confined to two principal areas: regulation and taxation. Let me say first, before making further comments, I am a lawyer in private practice who deals first-hand with people where one would expect alcohol to be a factor: I deal in high-conflict family breakup situations and in personal injury matters (such as car crashes). I do not use alcohol at all.

    My comments are limited by space available to comments on taxation and regulation – I am not commenting on issues such as whether or not people ought to be able to consume alcohol in a park or on the beach, etc.

    The regulations around import, export and sales of alcoholic beverages should generally be to aid and assist private businesses in BC, while protecting vulnerable individuals. Thus there should be no publically-owned or operated retail or wholesale operations. Alcohol should be available for sale in any business with a wholesale/retail sales licence for the sale of consumable goods. Liquor production/import/excise taxes should be levied at the point of import (for Federal Excise taxes & BC liquor taxes) or point of production for domestic production. This leaves PST/GST which should be levied as usual on the sale of any other items.

    Let individuals & businesses import what they will, paying taxes on arrival in Canada as they do with anything else.

    The problem of unlawful sales will inevitably arise: There is no credible evidence to show that restricting sales to government stores or special-licenced private outlets has resulted in a lessening of availability to those who should not obtain alcohol, primarily minors. The way to best combat improper sales is education plus a strong investigative force, combined with severe penalties for breaches.

    Retail/wholesale outlets must be free to set their own price; after they have paid the federal & provincial production/import taxes, then the price they sell any particular product for should be their choice and theirs alone. Even sell at a loss if they wish (a common way to get customers into the store).

    Next, the classes of licence for restaurants, pubs, clubs, lounges, etc. are unnecessarily complex, and the rules surrounding what may occur in any particular establishment are Byzantine; there should be only 2 classes: food primary (where children may be present) and alcohol primary (where children may not be present). Either class may serve food, from snacks to full gourmet meals, with the principal difference being whether or not the main focus is on adult alcohol consumption and adult activities or on dining. As to activities that are permitted in either class of establishment (examples: live or recorded musical entertainment; customer dancing; improv; stage performances; open-mike; so-called “exotic dancing”, and potentially many other entertainment forms) leave this completely up to the establishment, with no special licencing required for any of it. The only possible exception I can see is to restrict some activities, such as exotic dancing, to liquor primary (i.e. adult only) establishments.

    In short, treat alcohol like any other commodity for sale: tax it, take the sale and distribution out of government hands, and strongly enforce the few rules (no sales to minors being the principal one) that are needed.

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  252. Close the BC Liquor Stores!

    BC liquor stores are generally my preferred place to shop (probably because they are brighter and cleaner than any of the private stores I’ve visited, and their selection is sufficient enough for me), but I assume the employees are public servants and probably far overpaid considering their expertise and customer service is often abysmal. The hours of our local store (Fairfield, Victoria) is ridiculous. Open until 6 pm except Fridays (9) and closed on Sundays? You’ve got to be kidding me. You can’t tell me no one wants to buy liquor in Fairfield after 6 pm! If the government got out of the liquor business, presumably the private stores would improve in quality and fill in that “middle to high end” market that the BC Liquor Stores generally try (and fail) to service.

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  253. Do NOT change the liquor laws. With the problems we have with drunk driving, alcohol induced abuse, underage drinking, binge drinking, etc why would we want to relax the liquor laws? In fact, I don’t think alcohol should be served at sporting events. Sporting events have a lot of families attending and alcohol can sometimes lead to arguments, swearing and fighting in the stands which is not family friendly. Just because someone says the liquor laws are outdated doesn’t mean they are laws that need to be changed. They might be considered “old” but “new” doesn’t necessarily mean better. My comment makes it sound like I don’t drink alcohol but I do enjoy a few drinks a month. I would just like to remind people to NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!!!

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  254. -Allow Happy Hour

    -Allow public consumption

    -Lower Taxes on sale of domestic, small scale brewer, distiller, and winery products

    -Ease access to Liquor Primary licenses

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  255. Re beer & wine being sold in grocery stores ,I do like the variety offered by the big BCLCB Signature stores but BC is long past due in catching up with civilized countries ,I would very much welcome beer & wine being offered in our grocery outlets

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  256. As someone with allergies, I think it would be great if ingredients were required to be listed on all alcoholic beverages. The public should be allowed to know what is in something they are consuming, just like we are with food. Rates of allergies and celiac disease are on the rise, so there are many people who would benefit from this change. Plus, citizens without allergies are probably also interested in knowing what they are drinking.

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  257. Its great to review the liquor laws, while the government reviews the liquor laws they should review the liquor tax that is added on. The government taxes the liquor at such a high rate that the retailer have to charge an ex amount more. If the government would tax less you would see the price of liquor going down, and thus making consumers happy. Also I believe that if more places are allowed to sell liquor, it going to put a lot of existing business out of business. So what do you say to all the employees of those small businesses.
    I thought the Liberal government agenda was to have the toughest drinking and driving laws in Canada, but a move to have more store will encourage much more drinking. Such an hypercrit move on behave of the Liberal government. Why put these harsh rule in, only to open up the liquor rules. I guess you can always fall back and look at the great example that Ex. Premier Gordon Campell left for this province. Liberal government give your heads a shake their is more to running a province than reviewing liquor laws. Try reviewing health care, education and taxes.

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  258. I am so glad these archaic policies are being reformed.
    Personal responsibility should be the focus, BC liquor laws are insane! Why make laws and regulations for the whole population with the most serious problem drinkers in mind? It’s embarrassing taking friends from out of country to our local festivals. They treat us like simpletons who have no self control and need protection from ourselves. Why on earth can’t we drink from the cans or bottles that the beverage comes in, why the dixie cups? We put up huge fences around anybody who is drinking in an outdoor event which does not do much for the aesthetics of the festival. Why herd people like cattle if they want to drink? I assume that its theoretically to keep minors out. When in reality underage drinkers are AS FAR AWAY from their parents and other adults AS POSSIBLE. They’re all at an empty house or way out in a bush party drinking liquor that their older siblings, cousins or friends bought for them. I think its a question of harm reduction, do we want our young people out getting hammered at remote raves or bush parties where there is no supervision and help is not immediately available. I had no problem getting liquor when I was underage so why make them drink it in dangerous and unsupervised places like we did? Wouldn’t it be better for all involved if 16+ were just allowed to drink beer and wine in bars.

    We all have to learn our own personal alcohol limits and I’m sure most people have made mistakes along the way. Raspberry vodka still makes my stomach churn… Many, many underage kids will experiment with alcohol, the question is do we want these inexperienced drinkers who have not yet learned limits to be chugging rum, or shotgunning beers away from supervision as is the case now or should we allow them drink only beer and wine (no hard stuff) in a safe, supervised environment.

    The only difference between an 18 year old from France or Germany and an 18 year old from here is the french kid has had 2 years of safe, supervised alcohol experience and knows not to chug a bottle of rum and wont in turn end up passed out in a culvert somewhere.

    By keeping underage people as distant as possible from any drinking that is taking place only makes alcohol seem more alluring and exclusive. Kids are always trying to act older than they are, if alcohol is something that only older people do then its a natural step to assume kids will try and imitate.

    Also – why do bars and night clubs have to be shut down by 2 am? they should be allowed to stay open as long as its profitable. All that having last call at 1:30 does is make everybody who wants to party more drink as much as possible before all dumping out into the street at the same time to search for an after party which will probably be in a residential area. Why not keep the drunk people contained and supervised? They will filter out into the streets at a slower rate.

    - We should be able to buy liquor in grocery and convenience stores

    - We should be able to drink reasonably in public (we already do)

    - I agree public drunkenness should still be a crime

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  259. I think all theatres of live performances should be able to sell Wine and Beer. I know some are not allowed unless through a caterering company ect. Like the Bell Performing Arts Centre… They host a wide range of performances which a nice glass of wine would be enjoyed by many.

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  260. A few suggestions:

    1. Children should be allowed in neighborhood pubs with an adult. Makes no sense to me that they are not allowed now.

    2. Look at the success of the Corner Stone in Pemberton Heights in North Vancouver – the first corner store in the province to be given a liquor license. The neighborhood overwhelmingly supports it and there have been NO problems whatsoever with public drunkenness etc. This model should be emulated in other neighborhoods – not only does it allow a local business to survive, this establishment in our neighborhood enhances community pride, provides a very local dine-out option and I suspect increases property values – it is such a great addition to our community.

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    • It is a sad state of affairs when I can go to Oregon and buy a bottle of BC ice wine for 50% of the BCLDB price. There should be a tax break to consumers for buying locally produced products – if that is allowed under the FTA etc.

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      • DOn’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
        SO far, **nothing** has been reformed, we’re still living in the Dark Ages. Wait and see.

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    • I don’t agree with allowing minors in pubs or restaurants with a ‘licensed’ side like some Boston Pizza’s. A lot of adults want to dine in an area free of noisy kids. Some adult couples like to go out for supper to get away from their own kids for a couple hours. A pub that is free of minors is a more relaxed and enjoyable place to enjoy a drink. If you don’t agree, go to Boston Pizza on a night when a minor sports team is there and try to enjoy your meal and be able to hold a conversation. (disclaimer: I’m just using BP as an example, I’m sure it’s not the only place like that.)

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  261. I agree that the liquor laws here are outdated and should be abolished. I’m pleased that the opportunity to discuss has finally come up. With so many rules it makes it difficult to just have a good time in Vancouver, there’s always someone there to tell you you are doing something wrong. I think it’s sad that big wigs like the Donnelley group can afford to open pubs while a small business entrepreneur faces ridiculous prices to obtain a simple liquor license. Make this more affordable so we all have a chance! If they would change this and allow for the little people to open little bars, neighbourhoods would become more interesting and flourish on their own. Go to New York, Seattle anywhere else and you can go out for an evening in your neighbourhood and it’s great.

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  262. Nothing is less romantic, both to Canadians and to European visitors, to attend an outdoor public gathering and be precluded from consumption of wine or beer over a picnic lunch. To my knowledge, countries that have always embraced the social use of spirits at public events have greater awareness of alcohol abuse and no particular increase in alcohol-related crimes.

    I have no idea where our stern policies came from. I’m convinced that such draconian laws do nothing to paint a picture of a healthy society that rises above contradictions.

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  263. I would like to offer a contrasting perspective, specifically on the issue of alcohol consumption in parks.

    As a responsible consumer of alcohol, I agree that being able to enjoy a drink responsibly in a park seems reasonable and intervention by authorities would be excessive.

    However, as a park employee the perspective is much different. We are not allowed to interact with drunk individuals for our own personal safety, let alone groups of drunk people. If people are drunk in public, we rely on calling in police, which can be very difficult depending on the location of the park, and strains an already limited resource and ultimately increases the cost to the taxpayer.

    Our primary tool is instead prevention – drunk people begin by being sober people consuming their first drink in a park. Training and experience enables us to recognize situations that may lead to intoxication in a park and and prevent it from escalating. We rely on the authority to stop alcohol use before it becomes a major problem.

    What is the effect of drunk people in parks? Parks were created to conserve the environment and allow all residents the opportunity to recreate in a nature. I have witnessed, on a daily basis, the negative impact one drunk group can have on the enjoyment of all others in a park area. People not wishing to be around drunk people in a park, and instead seeking a peaceful experience in nature, are discouraged from visiting the park at all. I have had several personal interactions with park users expressing gratitude for the cessation of alcohol infused parties in a park, for both a one time incident and a long term trend. Secondly, an average of one full garbage bag of beer bottles and cans was taken from a busy park every week during the high season. The government, with all their faults, does have a duty to stand up for the best interests of all park visitors and the conservation of the park environment.

    As an alternative, alcohol consumption outdoors is legal in your private residence. Besides a private yard, this also includes a campsite that has been paid for.

    I urge those in favour of drinking in parks to broaden your perspective to what is best for the public as a whole and the parks that protect the environment we so desperately claim as important. I also challenge you to question why consumption of alcohol is so vital to your enjoyment of a park.

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    • So how is the law deterring people from drinking in the park now?

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  264. In selling alcoholic beverages it should be that the term ‘pint’ can refer only to an imperial pint, 20 imperial fluid ounces, which is close to 568.3 mL. The term ‘pint’ must not refer to any other size, not to a US pint (473.2 mL), not to a ‘sleeve’ and not to any other size glass. Pubs and restaurants must print in their menus and over their bars the sizes of their drinks, namely what you receive for the price you pay. The metric system (milliliters, mL) is good for this and avoids the current severely annoying ambiguity of pints and sleeves and glasses.

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  265. This is an opportunity for the province of BC to lead the way in modernizing our liquor regulations.

    1. It is time for the province to no longer be involved in the selling of alcohol. This will be unpopular with union members. I would privatize all government liquor stores. The government should retain the distribution side but not the retail. The wage benefit / packages for these employees is well above what other retail outlets are currently paying. This inflated wage structure also contributes to higher prices.

    2. Allow for grocery / big box stores to sell alcohol. They have the ability to control its sale easier than corner stores. They could built build liquor stores within the locations. Costco in Bellingham has done something like that.
    As for corner stores, I would consult with our neighbours to the south. The Americans have been selling it in corner stores for years and we can learn from their experience. A lot of this hysteria regarding corner store sales seems to come from lack of knowledge. At present, we allow tobacco sales in corner stores. All sales clerks have to check id. There are heavy fines for non-compliance. The same or higher fines could be imposed for non-compliance on alcohol sales.

    3. Over all, the government should reduce red tape wherever possible.

    Use a “grand vision“ when looking at how regulations should be changed. The changes should reflect how are society is today as well as how it will look in the future. The government must be bold and make sweeping changes. Lets be leaders rather than followers. You have been given the mandate use it!

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    • Big box stores keep prices low (undercutting small businesses and local entrepreneurs) by demanding that manufacturers provide products at a lower cost. This means most manufacturers have to produce a cheaper lower-quality product, often with the same labeling and packaging as their regular product, in order to stay in the game. This is absolutely the LAST thing we should even consider doing to our local beer and wine industries!

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  266. Get out of the retail market re liquor, the Gov could collect the taxes without the expense of maintaining the stores, 40 years ago in Australia you could buy wine with your groceries and they had drive through beer stores, also in the UK they have beer stores in the Malls, so BC get with Times, !!!

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  267. I dont care if liquor is sold on grocery and corner stores. I know alcohol is easy for kids to get, however i would be worried about kids stealing liquor while their parents shop or just wandering around. Of course drinking would go up if its easy to get. But the government will make money from duis etc. after all the government is worried about money. Not our safety.

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  268. Sure, go ahead, make one of the most dangerous mind altering drugs easier and cheaper to purchase, watch the incidence of drunken behaviour and underage drinking shoot up. All this to please the Liberal’s corporate buddies.

    In the UK where I lived previously, once supermarkets could sell alcohol cheaper because of their buying power, there was a race to the bottom. Pubs had to sell cheaper to entice clientele, which in turn has led to the binge drinking that is so prevalent. This has increased government and municipality spending to cope with the social problems and criminal behaviour.

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  269. There seems to be an unstated assumption in government policy, that we British Columbians are ignorant, completely unaware of the rest of the world, and likely to do terrible things if not controlled carefully.

    The posts so far suggest that we British Columbians are pretty well informed and thoughtful. We do travel farther than Hope, and we have learned some useful things from our travels, e.g. how other societies deal with alcohol much better than we do.

    TIme for our Government to up its game…

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  270. Children should be allowed in pubs that serve food until a reasonable time in the evening (9pm). Having moved back here after living in the UK for the past 10 years it is really frustrating to see this draconian Victorian law still in place that essentially prevents children from seeing their families consume alcohol in normal settings other than closeted at home. Talk about a sure fire way to make alcohol consumption seem like an activity that must be hidden and done in a clandestine manner. Thankfully my son has witnessed his parents responsibly enjoying a drink while having a meal at our former ‘local’ and will hopefully have a healthier relationship with alcohol than those who grow up seeing adults being sequestered in order to enjoy a drink.

    I also agree with all previous posts calling for alcohol sales at grocery stores and allowing for consumption in public places. Festivals occur Europe-wide in the summertime and open alcohol sales occur at them. Where are the news reports covering the absolute chaos that some posters are saying occurs when public consumption of alcohol is allowed? If that were the case there would be rolling news coverage all summer long of public drunken disorder. Lets have some common sense govern liquor laws in this province, get with the times and lose the obviously temperance-influenced legislation that currently exists.

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  271. I’m 33, but have lived, while an adult, in Vancouver (home), California (current), UK (twice), Australia, Senegal, and Ethiopia. So I’ve seen a few different systems.

    The BC liquor laws are archaic. It’s time to liberalise (/bring into the 21st century).

    I would advocate:

    1) Allowing sales to adults in grocery stores, convenience stores, etc.
    2) Increasing the number of establishments (likely pubs, etc) where parents can have a drink with their children around. Beer gardens, quiet pubs, etc. Night clubs? Of course not. But neighbourhood pubs, absolutely.
    3) Allow drinking in public areas. Police unruly behaviour, not the consumption of alcohol. It’s ridiculous that a couple families having a picnic in the park can’t share a bottle of wine while doing so. This is simply civilized.
    4) Relax the permitting system to allow more approval of new applications for liquor licenses.

    I would not advocate:
    1) Relaxing drunk driving laws or enforcement
    2) Any increased tolerance of unruly or abusive behaviour.

    Happy to see this process happening. It’s time to bring BC liquor laws into 2013.

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  272. I am very much in support of allowing liquor consumption in places such as parks, beaches, and simply in the great outdoors. I lived in Australia for over 20 years, a place well known for its drinking culture. I would often meet friends in parks around Sydney Harbour, and settle down with a bottle of wine and some food. Never, and I mean never in all my years there, did I witness incident or even any kind of problem around alcohol or intoxicated people in these places. There was also very seldom any mess left by picnickers who had enjoyed their one or two glasses.

    Certainly, there is some public drunkenness in Australia, mainly around pubs frequented by young adults, as there is in many places. At Bondi Beach in Sydney, alcohol has been banned. That is because there was a problem, mainly with tourists bringing booze to the beach, and measures were brought in for that particular situation.

    I think it is time we should lighten up, in BC, and allow people to take responsibility for themselves when in public places. We should also allow the serving of small quantities of alcohol at theaters and musical performances, without the imposition of fees for one-time licenses. I find it nuts that I can’t get a glass of wine when I go to listen to a visiting musician on Bowen Island where I live.

    I make comparisons with Australia because that is a society that I know. One thing that they also have there, is a very low tolerance for drink driving. There is a limit of .05 blood-alcohol when behind the wheel. There is random breath testing with the police setting up roadblocks at any time they want. They test every driver as they pass through. They don’t need a reason, and it only takes a matter of seconds. If you are over .05 then you are charged (subject to a second more accurate blood test). You don’t have to be impaired in any way, you just have to be over the limit. On the first offense you can lose your drivers’ license for a period of time. This is also part of the culture, now, in Australia, and it seems to be well accepted. It has been very successful in reducing alcohol-related accidents.

    I find all of this to be a more mature approach. Allow people freedom while strictly enforcing transgressions.

    My last comment is about wine. We pay very high prices in BC, and the bureaucracy around importing a case of wine for yourself, is absurd. BC is a major wine producing region and I think it could only benefit the industry if we relaxed we regulations around its distribution and consumption.

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  273. In my opinion, the LDB has legislated and taxed liquor to the point that the only way a British Columbian (or Canadians at the National level)can enjoy a drink is to buy it at retail, and go home, or to another form of private property and drink it there. As an ex-operator in Night Clubs, Pub, and Restaurants, there are so many layers of taxation by the time Joe/Jane consumer can get a drink in an establishment, only the government coffers come out ahead on the transaction, while consumers feel burned when they get the bill at the till. At retail, it is also taxed beyond a virtual tipping point that has billions of dollars nation-wide going south of the border every year, which is lost revenue and jobs for a lot of Canadians. The issues and the solutions are pretty obvious based on the scads of input you have received on this blog. I will be interested to see if the BCLDB is actually going to listen, and come up with a collaborative and effective solution, or just let the coffers do all the talking and legislating. From a simple dollars and sense day-to-day budget perspective, I drink a lot less to a point of almost never anymore because of the over-inflated cost of drinking. My doctor is happy about it, but the receiver general of B.C. must not be.

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  274. While I agree that things have to change I must admit being more than a little worried about selling booze out of small stores . Larger stores somehow feel safer. As for drinking at the beach or parks I feel torn about . The idea of broken beer bottles,for one concerns me to no end. I have no issue with Sunday openings .

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  275. Allow beer/wine to be sold in grocery stores,gas stations or any other store that wishes to do so. Allow drinking in public places,ie. beach/parks. Put a cap on the corkage fee that can be charged. The end, get with the times BC!

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  276. The gov’t needs to get out of the liquor business. Our prices are too high. We need to let the market take care of the distribution and selling of wine, beer, and liquor. Our laws reflect and outdated system that is only here to protect the employees of the BC Liquor stores. The gov’t needs to look after public interests and not the interests of select few. Please adopt the Alberta model!

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    • The government liquor stores offer alcohol at a cheaper rate.

      If they were all private, we would be paying private prices meanwhile good paying jobs would be replaced with just over minimum wage jobs.

      The government run liquor stores are a cash cow for the province. Why would they want to start sending those profits into private bank accounts instead of back into the province?

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  277. Would like to see a more adult approach to enjoying an alcohol beverage in public. Just returned from Hong Kong and you can buy beer, wine and spirits everywhere (even 7-11s). Folks are allowed to buy a beverage at a market and then sit in a park and picnic. Plazas allow purchase and consumption at public gathering tables encouraging discussion and dialogue in an open form. Children play all around similar to being in your own back yard. What we did not see was one case of loud, brash or drunken behavior. This type of behavior is not tolerated just like here in BC. Using this responsible approach enjoying to an alcohol beverage, the rest of us would not penalized for what amounts to a few trouble makers — this small percentage of society will be around either way.

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  278. The government MUST stop making laws the public do NOT WANT! The babysitting must stop. Allow families to gather at drinking establishments, sell liquor and POT in stores, let the people decide on the laws. GOVERNMENTS MUST STAY OUT OF OUR BUSINESS!

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  279. Glad the govn’t is reviewing this antiquated law.
    my suggestions:

    More market incentives and easier certification for small wineries and small craft breweries to be able to distribute their product

    Allow adults to drink on a beach or park

    Easier to acquire liquor licenses for caterers and event operators

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  280. For goodness sake update the liquor laws from the dark ages….
    At least allow wine to be purchased in food outlets.

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  281. Hello,

    I think it’s high time that the Government has decided to at least have a discussion about this issue. I think we have been baby sat for some time now and it’s time to treat grown people like grown ups. When there are a lot of restrictions where to buy beer and where to consume it, there lies the problem. Why is it the authorities think that the majority can’t drink responsibly in public places. If we as a society think that we are civilized, then one of the things we need relax is to let grown people to drink their choice of drink where ever they please. In the beginning, I am sure there are going to be people that will make a scene and behave erroneously. Given time though, this behaviour won’t last long. We need to change the liquor laws for ones and for all.

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  282. Having lived in Europe for five years, I was struck on my return by the antiquated nature of our liquor laws. If concerns about public nuisance caused by allowing alcoholic beverages in parks were true, Europe would long ago descended into chaos. In fact, quite the opposite has occurred.

    We end up visiting these places and marvelling at how people can enjoy a nice glass of wine in the park with friends, gather at small neighbourhood street parties for beer and bratwurst, and otherwise enjoy one another’s company.

    What amazed me about Europe was that the deregulation of liquor had the opposite effect that we here think it will have. Treating people like adults encouraged them to act like adults. Parks there where quieter, filled with more people, and in general much more pleasant places to be.

    If you disagree, go spend a couple of weeks anywhere in Europe in summer!

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  283. It is time to abolish the distance requirement between liquor outlets. If instituting the regulation of grocery type stores being allowed to sell wine and beer is the first step, hurrrah! Our community is being held hostage to the archaic law that says the business holds the licence and not management. Due to previous irresponsible ownership our local general store under new leadership is paying the price.

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  284. I do not want to see any drinking in parks or on beaches. None. Parks are SUPPOSED to be places we can enjoy some nature. We gave enough problems in some parks with dog owners who can’t respect leash laws and we don’t need to add alcohol to the mix. NO DRINKING IN PARKS.

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    • I certainly agree that I hate sharing a park with loud and drunken people, but I’d also love to be able to enjoy a quite drink on my local beach or park. Enjoying a glass of wine in a park is about enjoying nature.

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    • I respect your view and acknowledge your rationale; however, I have seen drunk people show up at parks and at beaches, and they are a menace. They consumed the alcohol before they arrived.

      And guess what? They continued to abuse alcohol upon arrival. The current law didn’t seem to stop them. I did a beach clean-up recently with a group of students, and you’d never know alcohol was banned on beaches now. Do you know how many beer bottles, cans, and wine bottles we collected?

      It’s happening now, but people are hiding the evidence in rocks, in the sand, and under logs. Maybe if people didn’t need to hide the evidence of drinking, they’d actually clean up after themselves. Then again, maybe not.

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    • I couldn’t disagree more. Parks aren’t necessarily for the exclusive enjoyment of nature; they are greenspace for a variety of recreational and social pursuits, such as sports, meals, and family gatherings.

      Parks are public spaces. I have seen groups of people (of various demographics) enjoying a bottle of wine with an evening picnic in my local park. I have myself enjoyed a couple of beers while playing sports with my friends. There is no harm to anyone in these examples, and I highly doubt the sight of people drinking respectfully within a park setting could possibly be deemed offensive to the overwhelming majority of park users.

      Public intoxication is already illegal, which is probably the far more offensive sight than a group of friends sipping chardonnay and enjoying a nice evening in your local park.

      Does that mean absolutely no limitations or regulations? No way. There should be an understanding that drinking in parks should be respectful to others using the park.

      However, a total ban on alcohol in parks is absolutely absurd.

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  285. Recently on a trip to Arizona, we bought wine at the grocery store with an eye-opening selection. The entire week we were there, I would have to say we actually observed fewer publicly drunk people than I would see here on a normal galavant downtown. When / where to buy does not help the addicted, it just restricts the civilized.

    Restriction laws are a reaction against idiots, who in any case will be idiots whether there are laws in place or not. Let’s make laws in favour of true adults, in recognition that a little wine with lunch at the park or a beer on the beach will not bring down society (because the people who will over imbibe already do so in those contexts!!!)

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    • A couple of ideas from someone who actively supports the BC wine, craft beer and distillers:
      1. Taxes imposed on liquor pay for things like public education, healthcare, transportation and other services that we benefit from. Liquor is a luxury and it makes sense to me that people who have the discretionary income to buy booze, pay a little more into the public coffers.
      2. I’ve enjoyed seeing the new craft beer producers opening and tasting the sometimes blissful, sometimes “what we’re they thinking?” results. Local manufacturing, including brewers, vintners and distillers should be supported and encouraged.
      3. I’m not in favour of having alcohol for sale in grocery stores/box stores, but this is mostly because this sales format encourages large international producers and their established distribution chains. By having to go to a specialty store, consumers are exposed to a broader variety of brands and the specialty store is more likely to carry a wide selection of brands, including local start-ups.
      4. Home-distilling should be allowed the same way home winemaking and home brewing are.
      5. Case discounts should be available when purchasing directly from the winery / distiller.

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  286. Few points to the law I would like to see changed:
    1) Allow the sale of liquor (at least beer and Wine) in grocery stores.
    2) Allow children to be with adults in neighborhood pubs/beer gardens.
    3) Allow dining establishments greater freedom as to when and how to sell liquor.
    Keep the legal drinking age 19 yrs.

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    • We don’t need kids in pubs. The only people this will serve is alcoholics who cant find a babysitter when they need to feed their addiction.

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  287. Any attempt to limit the social behaviour of alcohol consumption in public is an outdated policy of the government. People should be allowed to consume any alcoholic beverage in any public place at anytime. Let people be responsible for their own actions and behaviour. We need a more European approach towards alcohol as a society and stop the negative stigma around its use in public. As a free man I should be able to walk down to the publc beach with 6 beers and enjoy the scenery and a great local craft beer. I think our drunk driving laws are the strictest in the country, that alone should help regulate any perception that drunk driving would increase.

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    • I do agree, though the idea of a completely free world neglects to address the “idiot factor” that I see at our local beach. The beach is a very tolerant place where open drinking (and some soft drug use) is more or less tolerated. A certain level of respect is generally present; that said, there are very few problems that arise, and I’ve never witnessed any sort of violence or harassment by any of the beach users to one another.

      However, there is always that 1 idiot.

      The “idiots” are 1 out of 100 and can be a nuisance, but is there sense in creating laws that punish the respectful 99%? Absolutely not.

      How about regulations that attempt to steer behaviour of the 1%?

      While I totally agree that I should be able to visit the beach with my family and friends and enjoy a bottle of wine, I do recogni