Gov’t reversed LCB decision after lobbiest meeting: Wyse

Charlie Wyse is calling on Donna Barnett to speak out against the government’s plans to privatize the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

NDP candidate Charlie Wyse is calling on Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett to speak out against the government’s plans to privatize the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) following the release of documents suggesting “the deal may be influenced by Liberal insiders.”

In a press release issued July 13, Wyse said a freedom of information request released July 12 shows that cabinet ministers in the Liberal government were initially opposed to privatization of the LDB.

Following meetings with lobbyists Patrick Kinsella and Mark Jiles the government reversed its earlier opposition to the planned privatization, Wyse said.

“Once more this government is favouring its friends at the expense of the people of this province.”

Wyse asked for a business plan and consultation with the beer and wine industry or the restaurant association,

“In the middle of summer, when many people are away on holidays, the Liberals appear to be hard at work making deals with their friends,” Wyse said.

Responding Friday Barnett told the Tribune she had not seen any business plan or business case as of yet and had no comment.

“We can’t always say no to everything and we can’t always say yes to everything,” Barnett said. “These decisions are made by cabinet. I haven’t seen any business plan yet so I don’t have an opinion either way. But if it is a good business plan and will save B.C. taxpayers money, I’m all in favour of it,” Barnett said.