Pity the poor BC wine consumer.
British Columbians pay some of the highest prices for alcohol in North America and if we want a better selection, we pay even more.
Worse, all the booze is distributed by the government’s Liquor Board, which has its own chain of retail stores that compete with the more-expensive private stores.
But all that might change soon.
BC Liquor Reform Feedback
The provincial government is seeking ways to reform BC liquor laws and part of the process is collecting feedback from the public.
“The goal of the review is to identify balanced, common-sense solutions that improve consumer convenience and grow B.C’s economy, while ensuring public health and safety,” they say.
To do this, John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Liquor Policy Reform, has launched the BC Liquor Policy Review web site.
He has even posted a video to introduce the new site:
The purpose of the site, apart from informing the public about policies under review, is to collect feedback from both stakeholders and the public. Feedback from the public is being posted via comments to John Yap’s blog posts.
Post #1, The Consulation Process, has over 445 comments.
Blog Post #2 – Grocery stores, convenience and public safety, has only 5 so far, probably because so many comments on the first post related to grocery store sales.
Other ways to participate include:
Email your comments privately to: BC Liquor Policy Review.
Mail your comments to: Liquor Policy Review, PO Box 9293 Stn Prov Gov, Victoria BC, V8T 9J8.
Tweet your ideas to: @John_Yap directly using the hashtag, #bcliquor.
Participate in a Twitter Townhall: Find out the details and instructions on how to participate.
Stakeholders Speak up
Stakeholder feedback is already rolling in and can be seen on the Stakeholder page.
Stakeholder Mark Hicken of Vintage Law Group says he’s pleased with this process and thinks the government is going about it smartly.
“One of the major problems in the past has been that liquor policy has been created without a sufficient level of public input,” he said, via email.
“Liquor policy affects both liquor consumers and the general public both as taxpayers and from a public safety perspective. Particularly, I think consumers need to provide their input.”
Let’s Do This
This is the first major push for BC liquor reform in 12 years, so get on it! Post your ideas on the government’s site and your skepticism here. I’ll let you know when I post my thoughts.