Alcohol pricing and availability relaxing in B.C.

Beginning in this spring, fewer restrictions will be in place against consumers of alcohol in British Columbia

Beginning in this spring, fewer restrictions will be in place against consumers of alcohol in British Columbia.

Two changes are coming on Wednesday, April 1st; certain grocery stores in the province will be able to sell wine produce 100 per cent B.C. – and rural and private liquor stores will have access to the same warehouse pricing as those operated by the government.

“We’ve raised many issues [regarding alcohol policy] on behalf of constituents,” said Member of Legislative Assembly for Columbia River-Revelstoke. “We’ve been told to wait for reform packages and this is it after all these years.”

The two policy changes reflect a report of 73 recommendations that were supported late in 2013 by parliamentary secretary for liquor reform John Yap. The reforms are receiving a warm reception.

“B.C. liquor laws were outdated and this has been a long time coming,” said Doug Clovechok, MLA hopeful for the 2017 provincial election.

“I don’t see any problems with it,” Invermere mayor Gerry Taft said.

The policies that were changed last week didn’t need to undergo the legislative process, but many of the other recommended changed will. Mr. Macdonald expects that to happen during the spring session of legislature, which begins during the second week of February. But he’s worried about how the details will hammer out.

“It’s uncertain in some areas whats going to happen,” he said. “There’s so much money involved [between the] liquor lobby groups, and the vested interest of government revenue – those need to be considered.”

While policies can be reversed relatively easily, legislative changes cannot.

“So it’s important to get it right. What I would encourage people to do is continue with feedback to the office in terms of what works and what doesn’t.”

He said that it leads into a bigger discussion as to whether or not the government should rely so heavily on “vice” taxes.

And while Mr. Macdonald does hope to see changes made, he worries that the topic of alcohol will distract voters from more important issues.

“They’ve used it fairly effectively to change the channel on a particular news cycle,” he said. “Whether its Mount Polley, or the inappropriate firing of health researchers – at a time when people start to focus on failures of government, [the Liberal Party] will pop up with an alcohol announcement.”

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read