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BC Election and the Wine/Liquor Industry

BC goes to the polls this coming Tuesday, May 14th. There is a good summary of the various parties\’ platforms as they relate to the hospitality and liquor industry (assembled by the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association) here: Restaurant News Special Edition BC Election 2013 (PDF). You can read through the answers contained there and judge for yourself which party may be more likely to reform BC\’s liquor laws. In addition, as of Tuesday, the BC Conservatives announced that they would permit beer and wine sales in supermarkets and corner stores should they win the election (which, of course, is very unlikely given their poll numbers). Regardless of the election outcome, it appears that there may be a possibility of some reforms under a new administration. Both branches of government which deal with liquor will have new top bureaucrats after the election: Blain Lawson was recently appointed as the new general manager of the Liquor Distribution Branch and, on Tuesday, the general manager of the Licensing Branch, Karen Ayers, announced that she would retire as of the end of June. I\’m keeping my fingers crossed that the new government will realize that a sweeping modernization of BC\’s liquor laws is needed and that the current post-prohibition era regulatory regime should be replaced with a more contemporary approach (see this article by Peter Mitham for good background on our system: Shaped by Legislation – A History of Wine in BC).    

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