Happy Hour Not So Happy for BC’ers

The B.C. Liberals have mismanaged the implementation of happy hour in B.C., leading to questions about whether they are capable of handling a full overhaul of the province’s liquor laws, say the New Democrats.

“Businesses rely on the government to make well-thought-out decisions. They need to trust that their government won’t suddenly change the rules and make it harder for them to do business,” said New Democrat liquor critic Shane Simpson.

Changes intended to allow businesses to lower their prices during happy hour were introduced Friday, but the new rules will mean that some businesses may actually have to raise their prices.

“This is what happens when you do your consultation by social media – you bring in changes that have winners and losers,” said Simpson.

Simpson added that the poorly thought out changes also show the B.C. Liberals failed to think about businesses outside urban areas. Prices in rural B.C. are often lower than in urban centres, so businesses in much of the province won’t be able to take advantage of the new rules.

“The Liberal government’s inability to properly manage even these basic changes raises concerns about how they will address more complex questions around health and safety that also surround these initiatives. They need to take a closer look at the way they are rolling out these policies, and ensure that the long-promised overhaul of liquor laws – including the plan to allow liquor in grocery stores – is implemented with more careful consideration.” said Simpson.

“This government promised real changes to our liquor laws, but from what we’ve seen so far, the Liberals can’t be trusted with even the most basic changes.”