BC's Liquor Policy: A Shared Responsibility

The delivery of liquor policy is a shared responsibility. There is a unique partnership that exists between local government and the Province in this realm.  When considering changes in liquor policy, it is important that both levels of government work together in a cooperative manner, to ensure that a balance is maintained between business and community interests. The stated goal of the current BC Liquor Policy Review is to identify balanced, common-sense solutions that improve consumer convenience and grow BC's economy, while ensuring public health and safety.

UBCM President Rhona Martin and First Vice-President Sav Dhaliwal recently met with Parliamentary Secretary John Yap to discuss the current BC Liquor Policy Review. A copy of the presentation made to the Province, and the UBCM Submission to the Provincial Liquor Policy Review, are available on the UBCM website.
   
At the meeting, the UBCM representatives stressed the need to adopt a principled approach to future changes in liquor policy. An approach that recognizes the need for joint decision-making between local government and the Province, and the need to share the financial obligations of these decisions, based on level of involvement.

Changes to provincial liquor policy can affect local governments in a number of ways. Two major areas of concern are the impact that liquor policy changes can have on local neighbourhoods, and the financial impact that it can have on policing and bylaw enforcement resources in the community. 

The UBCM submission stresses that the Province needs to support the current partnership, as well as local government land use decisions. It also requests that the Province consult with UBCM regarding any specific changes to provincial liquor policy that may impact local government, and undertake an assessment of the changes to determine the impact on compliance and enforcement costs.

Parliamentary Secretary John Yap will be presenting a final report (which will be made public) to the Honourable Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, on November 25, 2013.

Questions regarding UBCM's recent meeting with Parliamentary Secretary Yap, or Submission to the Provincial Liquor Policy Review, can be directed to UBCM Senior Policy Analyst, Ken Vance. Additional information on the review is available on the BC Liquor Policy Review website.

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