On January 23, 2017, changes to liquor laws and BC liquor permits came into effect – the result of the BC government’s sweeping Liquor Policy Review which began in 2013. The review resulted in 73 recommendations for changes. To date, 63 of those recommendations have been implemented. Some of the changes have been controversial, such as BC-only-wine on BC grocery store shelves, which resulted in a trade challenge by the U.S. government. Others changes to BC liquor laws changes may bring opportunities to BC businesses. Read more
Whether you are a business seeking a BC liquor license, a manufacturer, brewer, or are considering hosting a special event where you want to serve alcohol, it’s important to understand the licensing process and your responsibilities under the law. Rising Tide Consultants is here to ensure that you understand and fulfill government requirements, thereby increasing your chances of a successful application. Read more
The following liquor license requirements are relevant to bars, pubs, nightclubs, theatres, stadiums, and recreation and convention centers. While these requirements are specific to applying for a primary liquor license in BC, similar information will be useful to businesses applying for liquor licenses in Alberta, Ontario and other provinces in Canada. Read more
Do what you do best and outsource the rest. — Tom Peters, author and speaker on business management practices.
What, exactly, is outsourcing?
Outsourcing definition: The contracting or subcontracting of noncore activities to free up cash, personnel, time, and facilities for activities in which a company holds competitive advantage.
How does this work for BC liquor manufacturers and retailers?
Preparing liquor licensing applications and creating product and retail proposals both require expertise and knowledge of government regulations, deadlines, and expectations. It makes sense then, that outsourcing the LDB listing application process to experts not only allows you to focus on your core mission — providing high-quality products and services to your customers — but also saves you time and money. Read more
As Vancouver and BC liquor license experts, Rising Tide Consultants is aware of the confusion surrounding special event liquor licenses.
There are a number of misconceptions about obtaining a BC liquor license for a special event, including eligibility requirements and rules. To add to the confusion, BC Special Occasion License (SOL) policies are currently under review and may be subject to upcoming changes. Read more
Rising Tide is a proud associate member, supporting ABLE BC. Call today and let us know you are an ABLE Member, as you are entitled to a preferred rate and complimentary consultation!
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With expertise in Special Events & Occasions Liquor Licenses, Bert Hick and Rising Tide Consultants has been retained by event organizers of this weekend’s Pemberton Music Festival to be additional ‘eyes’ throughout the Festival to ensure that the “Serving It Right” program and liquor service staff follow the liquor licensing guidelines and that the festival is prepared and policies are adhered to for site-specific liquor licensed areas of the festival in Pemberton.
“We are very pleased to be working with festival organizer’s to provide our expertise to ensure quality and compliance to the liquor license for this Festival”, says Bert Hick. “This event is very large and there a lot of people of all ages attending who want to enjoy themselves. We ensure that everyone enjoys responsibly and the liquor service staff are knowledgeable and professional in the liquor-food licensed environments during the Pemberton Music Festival.”
Liquor sponsors for the Pemberton Music Festival include Molson Canadian #ThisIsLive and Jack Daniel’s. ‘Country Cocktails’. The festival takes place this weekend, July 16 to 20 in Pemberton, British Columbia.
On February 19, 2014, the City of Vancouver Council recommended that last year’s summer patio pilot program be extended for the 2014 patio season in order to allow for a more complete analysis. This includes the extension of patio hours to 12-midnight and the separation of patios from a business.
Applications are reviewed on an individual basis and certain criteria must be met in order to achieve approval. Since this pilot program commenced in August of 2013, Rising Tide Consultants has submitted applications to the City of Vancouver on behalf of our clients and achieved successful approval to extend their outdoor patios hours to midnight from April 1st to October 31, 2014.
If you would like our assistance in applying for an extension of patio hours for your establishment, please contact our office at 604-669-2928 or complete our “Get Info” form on this website.
One of the most popular ideas that is being considered by the current Liquor Policy Review is the possibility of making liquor available in grocery and convenience stores. John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for the Liquor Policy Reform, announced on Oct 29, 2013 that the government is going to explore retail models in other jurisdictions that permit the sale of alcohol in grocery and convenience stores.
The last time the government of British Columbia completed a comprehensive liquor policy review of both the commercial policies (i.e the Liquor Distribution Branch) and the regulatory policies (i.e. the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) was back in 1987/88 that was chaired by John Jansen, MLA from Chilliwack. At the time I was the General Manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch and was very involved in the review. The issue of liquor in grocery stores was very much the center of discussion at that time and there was strong lobbying by the large grocery chains and convenience stores for liquor to be available in their stores. The Government wisely decided not to pursue this policy for many reasons that are still valid today and need to be considered in the current debate.
How do you define a grocery store? It is obvious that Save on Foods, Thrifty’s, Safeway etc. are grocery stores. But what about Cobb’s Bakery, Kin’s Market or gourmet cooking stores selling food? Would they too be considered grocery stores? Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Costco all sell food. Are they grocery stores? Is the corner convenience store considered a grocery store? In the Downtown Eastside and Gastown there are stores known for selling high alcohol content mouthwash. Would they be eligible to sell alcohol? Would it be based on items sold, square footage, or some other measure? These questions could significantly increase the availability of liquor to all persons throughout British Columbia and should be carefully considered. When you increase the availability of alcohol, you increase the risk to public safety, abuse and crime.
During the review in 1987/88, the police and health authorities opposed the idea of increasing the availability of alcohol by making it available at grocery and convenience stores. At that time they had many valid reasons for this position such as an increased possibility of shoplifting, robberies, public intoxication, and increased crime. These issues still ring true today. If the availability of liquor is increased, then an increase in monitoring, controlling and enforcement will have to be increased too. Budgets for police and health would need to also be increased to meet with the greater demand.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch currently contracts minors to work with liquor inspectors to attempt to purchase alcohol at licensed establishments. Licensees have been hit with high fines and suspensions as a result. The industry has responded by significantly increasing measures to control availability and access to alcohol in addition to heightened policies and procedures ensuring that the highest level of diligent liquor service practices are in place. Allowing the sale of liquor in grocery and convenience stores directly contradicts all of the progress that has been made by implementing these procedures. Minors have no reason to be in a liquor store. They do however have plenty of reasons to be in grocery or convenience stores. In fact, teens naturally gravitate to convenience stores as demonstrated by a visit to any local corner store near a high school during lunch break. Vodka for sale beside the Slurpee machine puts minors at risk.
Minors easily accessing a drug like alcohol, being sold by individuals who are not in the business of selling alcohol, will be just one of the unintended consequences that British Columbians will have to face if this policy change comes to fruition. In 1987/88 we considered, researched, debated and came up with the mixed public and private retail store schematic that has changed over the years but is still in place today. This model has worked well. Increasing the availability of alcohol will make alcohol more convenient, but the cost of the related unintended consequences will be anything but convenient. It’s time for a sober second thought to this possibility.
For more British Columbia Liquor Licensing information, continue to read the NEWS section of our website.
Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a proposal put forward by Mayor Gregor Robertson to allow patios to expand their hours of operation past 11pm in the City of Vancouver. Rising Tide Consultants can help liquor licensees with patios, participate in the relaxed regulation by applying for consideration in extending their hours. The City will look at each application on a case by case basis. For the preliminary stages it is likely that City will approve establishments with track records of good behaviour who are in downtown areas away from residential neighbours.
“I would love to see hours extended this summer for good operators, where they’re respecting the neighbourhood, or not impacting the neighbourhood at all, and can stay open a little later,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, who introduced the motion. “Right now it’s an 11 p.m. shutdown. There’s an immediate step that could happen with our successful patios.”
A Facebook poll created by the mayor’s office asked for feedback from Vancouverites on the possibility of extending patio hours past 11pm. The results were overwhelmingly in favour the extended patio hours. 96% of the respondents were in favour of the extended liquor licensed patios, while 1.6% were opposed, the remainder wanted additional information before responding.
During the 2010 Olympics patio hours were extended to 1 a.m. “We did extend hours for everyone a few years ago, but that’s a lengthier council process, changing regulation,” Robertson said. “The short-term step is looking at what we can do this summer for good operators to extend their space or hours and enable more patio use.”
This relaxation of policy for the City of Vancouver is in the progress now and Rising Tide Consultants will be working with licensees in the City of Vancouver. For more information on the City of Vancouver Patio Hours, and British Columbia’s Liquor Review continue to read the NEWS section of our website.
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