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B.C. liquor laws up for review
British Columbians desire more convenience when it comes to purchasing liquor, said parliamentary secretary John Yap in Williams Lake Monday.
“The number one question is when I go to the grocery store to pick up milk and bread, why can’t I pick up my favourite bottle of wine,” Yap said.
People have also said repeatedly the rules governing the sale of liquor are archaic.
For example, a Royal Canadian Legion member can take his grandchild to a hockey game where people are consuming alcohol, yet he cannot take his grandchild into a legion.
Parents with infants are suggesting they would like to be able to take their children with them if they are enjoying a licensed meal.
Since the summer, Yap has been touring the province to meet with citizens.
Or as he did Monday morning, blogging live with people about the liquor policy review.
“We have had 43,000 visits to the website from people staying on the site for at least eight minutes, and we have had 1,000 comments on the blog,” Yap said.
And one of the things he likes about the website, is the fact that every single submission he’s received has been posted there.
“We said we wanted to be transparent and open and want people to see what other people are telling us,” he said.
Yap said whatever he recommends cannot result in less liquor sale revenue for government.
At $1 billion in revenue, it’s an important revenue source, he said.
Already Yap has met with dozens of stakeholders, ranging from business owners to health workers.
While in Williams Lake, he met with the RCMP and civic officials.
“This a comprehensive review of liquor policy and one of the important stakeholders are local governments and public safety is a very important aspect,” he said.
It’s a very interesting topic, Yap said.
The last time the laws were comprehensively reviewed was in the 1990s. A report was submitted in 1999 and since then there have been some “piece meal” or “incremental” changes.
“Our government was told to have a look at liquor policy,” Yap said. “Some of the rules in today’s world may seem antiquated.”
To log in go to http://engage.gov.bc.ca/liquorpolicyreview/.