Canadian Pizza Magazine

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B.C. government modifies liquor licencing


January 8, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

Jan. 8, 2014, BC – The B.C. government has loosened the laws around how and when liquor can be served.

The new laws mean that restaurants can now serve guests a drink without rules on food consumption, pubs can now serve alcohol to adults with children present for part of the day, and all liquor establishments can offer customers happy hour specials.

“These changes will benefit the hospitality industry and all British Columbians, and represent a major step forward in modernizing the province’s liquor laws,” said Mark von Schellwitz, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s (CRFA) vice-president of Western Canada, in a news release. “There will also be less confusion for liquor servers and their customers.”

The cost of liquor, however, is still a concern for CRFA. The association wants the provincial government to introduce a flat-tax liquor markup system that offers licencees a wholesale discount.

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“British Columbia’s licenced establishments are the only major wholesale purchaser of liquor that receive absolutely no discount on the Liquor Distribution Branch’s retail price, which results in higher liquor menu prices for customers. A flat-tax liquor markup model, in addition to providing economic advantages, better reflects social interests while offering more flexibility, transparency and future liquor revenue predictability for government.”