Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Provincial Liquor Policy review deadline passes without Prince Rupert Council contribution

The Province of British Columbia has just completed the second stage of review on the province's Liquor Policy, putting the wraps on a six week period of consultation that took place through the fall.

It was a much publicized process of community engagement, that provided for some 4,363 contributions alone, delivered to the website set up to receive the comments from British Columbians .

The province however will have to make do without a contribution from the City of Prince Rupert. As a last minute quest by Councillor Joy Thorkelson to have the City provide a Civic response to the public engagement, was voted down at last week's session.

While a number of council members agreed with Councillor Thorkelson, that they had unfortunately perhaps overlooked the time sensitive aspects of the provincial review.  It was the 11th hour nature of her request, that seemed to doom the City's participation so late in the process. 

Not wanting to add on to the growing files of work for city staff, Council voted against the Councillor's motion, which was a request to: "Have staff write a short brief by the 31st ... to the relevant Ministry expressing Council's concern that Liquor Laws not be loosened to permit easier access for juveniles "   

After ten minutes of discussion and review, the onus was then placed on individual councillors and the Mayor, to if inclined, submit their own correspondences on the topic to the Review by the October 31st deadline.

You can hear the Councillor's concerns on the issue and the subsequent vote to not move further on them, from the City Council Video Archive for October 28th. (the Liquor Review discussion comes up from the 40 to 48 minute  mark)

The Liquor review process was a wide ranging project, one which consisted of stakeholder meetings and featured a heavy reliance on the website designed to inform and engage the public on the process.

Among some of the key talking points through the six week consultation period was the possibility of allowing grocery stores  to sell beer and wine, a controversial topic that garnered a fair amount of reaction both pro and con.

The process now moves on to it's final stage, which will see the Province take the findings of their consultations and draft a report on proposed changes to the provinces liquor policy.

That report is anticipated to be delivered sometime in November

You can learn more about the full Liquor Policy review process from this archive on the Government's engagement process.

Some of the background on the discussions of the last six weeks can be found below.

Globe and Mail-- BC ponders selling liquor in grocery stores
CBC-- Liquor sales in grocery stores considered by B. C.
CTV-- B. C. mulls allowing alcohol sales in grocery stores
Global BC-- Grocery stores selling liquor may be coming to B. C. in "store within a store" model
Vancouver Province-- Booze brawl brewing as Victoria mulls over beer and wine sales in grocery stores
Vancouver Sun-- Don't make liquor laws too lax: Vancouver police
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. considers grocery store liquor sales
Surrey Now-- Liquor law overhaul nearly done
Victoria Times-Colonist-- Early opposition emerges for idea of selling booze in B. C. grocery stores
CKWX-- Gas station chain wants in on BC Booze sales
24 Hours Vancouver-- B. C. liquor sales in grocery stores to be studies

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