British Columbians will have an opportunity to have their voices heard regarding the modernization of B.C.’s antiquated liquor laws. Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform, John Yap, will begin the first phase of his review today. Phase one begins with letters being sent out to major stakeholders throughout B.C. asking for their written feedback and ideas for change. Letters will be sent to liquor licensees of all types throughout B.C. Yap will also be meeting with various groups from industry, local governments, First Nations, police, and health and social policy associations.

Phase two of the review will engage a broader public consultation. There will be a Liquor Review website which is estimated to be launched in September which will inform British Columbians of the current liquor system, and allow them the opportunity to provide their input on what they would like to see from their government. The review is expected to be completed by October 31, 2013. The final report will be presented to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice’s for their consideration by November 25, 2013.

Some limitations to the current policies, which will be noted as part of British Columbia’s liquor review include:

· Not allowing minors that are accompanied by a parent or guardian into a pub that serves food during daytime hours.

· Not allowing wine and other local liquor to be sold at farmers’ markets.

· Not allowing establishments such as spas to be eligible for liquor licensing.

· The lengthy process involved in obtaining a liquor licence.

Quotes:

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton –

“Right now, some of B.C.’s liquor laws go back many years. In concert with industry and citizens, we are looking to make practical and responsible changes which promote consumer convenience and economic growth in the province, with a strong eye to maintaining public safety and protecting the health of our citizens. Once the public consultation process begins in September, British Columbians can let us know how they would like to see B.C.’s liquor laws reformed.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform John Yap –

“I look forward to working with industry representatives, health and public-safety advocates and engaging directly with the public online as we look for common sense ways to modernize our liquor laws in this province. I know many British Columbians have a lot of opinions and our government is open to hearing them as we move forward in this process.”

For more updated information on British Columbia’s Liquor Review continue to read the NEWS section of our website.

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