Premier announces happy hour coming soon

B.C. liquor establishments will be able to host happy hour, Premier Christy Clark announced yesterday.

  • Dec. 18, 2013 6:00 p.m.

B.C. liquor establishments will be able to host happy hour, Premier Christy Clark announced yesterday.

Clark announced a second set of key liquor changes that she says will create opportunities for small businesses and legions and open up new dining options for B.C. families, while continuing to protect public safety.

To create more consumer convenience and give businesses more flexibility to grow, government will be introducing happy hour to B.C. To make sure liquor rules better reflect how British Columbians live, families soon will have the freedom to eat together in B.C.’s pubs, legions and restaurants.

To enhance health and public safety, the Province also will improve and expand B.C.’s responsible beverage service program, Serving it Right (SIR).

“These changes are about updating antiquated licensing rules to reflect what British Columbians actually want, while continuing to protect public safety,”

said Premier Clark.

“Families should be able to dine together in their neighbourhood pub. Consumers should be free to order whatever they want in a restaurant. These are exactly the kind of common-sense changes to B.C.’s liquor laws we promised to make — and we’re keeping that promise.”

Specifically, with the Liquor Policy Review recommendations announced today, government is supporting:

* Small businesses and the hospitality industry, through changes like common-sense licensing and happy hours.

* Places like pubs, legions and membership clubs by making changes to create more family-friendly environments.

* Health, safety and social responsibility by enhancing B.C.’s SIR program.

With minimum drink pricing consistent with the views that Parliamentary Secretary John Yap heard from health advocates during the B.C. Liquor Policy Review, the B.C. government will be opening the door to time-limited drink specials — such as happy hours.

Clark said other changes that will benefit the hospitality industry include simplified, common-sense licensing rules.

If patrons do not wish to eat, they will no longer be required to order food when they are in a food-primary establishment. Also, customers will be permitted to move freely with their beverage from one adjoining licensed area to another.

The B.C. government will further increase flexibility around licensing by giving liquor-primary establishments and clubs, such as legions, the option to accommodate minors up until a certain hour in the evening.

This means, for example, that parents will be able to take their kids for a bite to eat at a pub or to enjoy some music at a legion that chooses to be family friendly.

“We’re thrilled to hear government is making positive changes in liquor regulations impacting The Royal Canadian Legion and other membership clubs, so we can hold gatherings that safely accommodate minors, like community events, anniversaries and birthday parties,” said Angus Stanfield, president of the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command. “These changes will help us strengthen our charitable giving for veterans, youth, seniors and the communities we serve.”

Balancing these changes with health and safety in mind, the Province will extend SIR to all hospitality industry workers who serve alcohol. This will include, for the first time, all servers in B.C.’s 5,600 licensed restaurants, as well as staff at BC Liquor Stores and rural agency and wine stores. A specialized version of SIR will be required for licensees and personnel who serve at special occasion licensed events, such as banquets or weddings.

“We welcome the opportunity to evaluate, expand and enhance our Serving it Right program so we can build on our comprehensive information and provide well-rounded knowledge about responsible beverage service,” said Arlene Keis, CEO of go2,

B.C.’s human resources association for the tourism industry. “Drawing on the success of our current program, these changes will further instil effective skills and techniques for hospitality workers to promote responsible consumption.”

These changes align with recommendations put forward in Yap’s report.

Government’s support for these eight recommendations builds on a set of 12 others announced last week by Premier Clark that will benefit tourism, small businesses and liquor manufacturers.

“I heard throughout my consultations — from pubs, restaurants, legions and British Columbians — that licensing rules have become complicated and onerous over the years, and that they need to better match modern expectations,” said Yap.

“These changes will address that call and strike a balance, as we increase convenience for families and the industry, ensure continued growth of B.C. businesses and continue to safeguard health and safety.”

It is anticipated that Yap’s report on the review will be publicly released prior to Feb. 15, 2014, once Cabinet has had the opportunity to fully consider its 70-plus recommendations.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Joe Alphonse
OP-ED: Williams Lake municipal, regional councils lack awareness on historical trauma

Systemic racism isn’t always obvious to those that are not experiencing it

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Most Read