Thursday, November 7, 2013

BCGEU has concerns over aspects of Province's liquor review

As we outlined earlier this week, Prince Rupert Councillor Joy Thorkelson recently introduced to Council some of her concerns over proposed Liquor Policy changes that the provincial government is considering.

The Councillor, however was unsuccessful at the time, in her attempt to have the City of Prince Rupert make an official response to the consultation period. Owing to the last minute nature of her request and with the deadline for submission but days away.

Though her counterparts on City Council may not have seen the need for an official civic submission on the theme, Councillor Thorkelson does have some company when it comes to speaking out against some of the Government's trial balloons.

The BCGEU, which represents workers at BC Liquor Branch stores across the province, has expressed it's concern at the prospect of liquor sales potentially being expanded to grocery stores in the province.

Suggesting that instead of that expansion plan, the government should instead make better used of its
current distribution network.

Calling for Sunday openings for the government run operations, as well as the opportunity to have coolers installed in the government outlets.

In addition to those business plan issues, the government workers union, highlighted one key point that it believes is important to the debate "that the publicly run government stores have the best record of preventing liquor sales to minors."

As for the actual Liquor Review consultation process, the BCGEU submitted a fairly detailed report for consideration, as part of the consultation process.

Included in that report, which was provided to the Liquor Review process on September 19th (well before the deadline passed), were five points of concern.

Among their recommendations:

Take advantage of the strengths of the LDB and enhance public control of the management, distribution and sale of alcohol.

Make an explicit commitment to social responsibility in any new liquor legislation.

Protect the public interest with simplified, modern regulations.

Provide resources for monitoring and enforcement.

Provide greater operational flexibility for the LDB.

You can learn more of the BCGEU submission to the Liquor Policy Review from their seven page document which they have posted to their website.

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