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2014 – Year of BC Liquor Law Reform

The new year in BC has rolled in with the promise of significant modernization to the province\’s liquor laws. The liquor policy review concluded on November 25th of last year with a written report by John Yap, MLA which was submitted to the responsible minister, the Hon. Suzanne Anton. The report contains 70 recommendations. To date, the government has unveiled 20 of the 70 recommendations, and has indicated that it will support and implement those 20. The first batch of 12 were announced in earlier December and were aimed at assisting the BC wine industry as well as craft beer and spirits producers: see First BC Liquor Policy Review Changes Help Local Wineries. Later in December, another batch of 8 recommendations were announced which will help the province\’s restaurants and bars including the return of \”happy hour\”, easier licensing processes, permitting children into pubs with adults during certain hours, allowing restaurants to transition to liquor primary service at certain times, and expanding the Serving It Right program: see BC Toasts Happy Hours, Hospitality, Legion Changes. I understand that support for further changes will be announced in the coming weeks and that the full liquor policy review report is scheduled to be released in mid-February.

If you are interested in learning more about these changes and the opportunities that may arise from them, you may wish to attend the annual Wine and Liquor Law in BC Conference which will be held in Vancouver on February 24th. This year\’s conference will be focussed entirely on the liquor policy review recommendations. A discount of more than 50% on the conference fee is available for those working in the wine and liquor industry. 

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