On Wednesday, the provincial government released the recommendations from this spring's Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy), almost two months after they received the report.
The Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy) was a small group that met for several days this spring, and was narrowly focussed on "liquor policy and legislation issues of concern to the BC liquor industry". In short, it was an opportunity for manufacturers, private retailers, and the hospitality industry to offer suggestions as to how to make BC's liquor regulations work better for themselves.
The BCGEU was one of two labour unions consulted by Mark Hicken, the Chair of the Business Technical Advisory Panel (Liquor Policy). We met twice with Mr. Hicken and made our position clear: we are fundamentally opposed to the privatization of any part of BC's public liquor distribution system – including but not limited to alternate distribution for non-stocked products, expansion of Brewers Distributors, limits on the expansion of the LDB, and licensee to licensee sales – and we further oppose separating the wholesale and retail divisions of the LDB.
We followed up on our meetings with Mr. Hicken by sending a letter to Attorney General David Eby, the Minister responsible for the Panel, ensuring that he is aware of our position, explaining the numerous advantages of the LDB, and offering to answer any questions he may have.
Government is not required to act on the Panel's recommendations, and so far they have only said that they will "review each recommendation over the coming months, to analyze and consider the potential health, public safety, social, financial and labour impacts of the recommendations". We expect government to engage with us, as a labour organization, as they conduct their analysis over the next few months.
You can find the government press release, and a link to the full report and recommendations, online at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AG0046-001253
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