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LCLB Halts Charity Wine Auction, Others in Jeopardy

A new LCLB policy, preventing the auction of privately donated wine at licensed charity auctions in BC, has caused the cancellation of Crush, an important fundraiser for the Belfry theatre in Victoria (see: Crush, Belfry Wine Auction Cancelled). The new policy was adopted over the summer as part of amendments to the special occasion licensing manual (PDF). This was a shock to many charities who have been holding such fund raising auctions for decades within BC without any problem. The new policy threatens the continuation of many charitable fundraising events and could affect the financial viability of some BC charities which have historically relied on these events to raise a significant amount of funding. The affected charities span the entire scope of charitable activity including arts organizations, hospitals and educational institutions. The policy seems problematic in a time of government financial restraint because a government direction to stop such fundraising will likely cause the affected charities to seek additional direct funding from government in order to continue to operate. 

Update (Oct 25, 2012): The minister responsible for the LCLB, Rich Coleman, was quoted today by CBC radio as indicating that charity auctions of private wine will be permitted and that he is hoping for a temporary fix to this problem either today or tomorrow. Will provide details once there is an official statement or news release.

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