Government approves sweeping changes to liquor laws

Emma Crawford/Business in Vancouver / Staff writer
February 9, 2014 01:00 AM

The way British Columbians are able to raise a glass will soon be changing. The provincial government has approved a number of recommendations that will update liquor policies across the British Columbia, it announced Jan. 31.

The way British Columbians are able to raise a glass will soon be changing.

The provincial government has approved a number of recommendations that will update liquor policies across British Columbia, it announced Jan. 31.

"The recommendations highlighted today will streamline the application process for special occasion licences (SOLs) and refresh outdated liquor policies around beer garden fencing, opening up new opportunities for B.C.'s multitude of festivals, special events and non-profit organizations," the government said in a release. "Sports and entertainment venues, as well as the hotel industry, will also see positive changes as the province continues to modernize rules around liquor licensing."?

Among other changes, fencing around beer gardens at festivals and special events will be removed and those consuming liquor will be allowed to move freely across the venues. In addition, the application process for special occasion licences will be streamlined.?

The hotel industry will be able to extend room service hours due to licensing changes.?

Guests at weddings and other special occasions will also be able to enjoy mixed-spirit drinks, rather than just beer, wine, cider and coolers.

"These recommendations are a direct reflection of the input I received from British Columbians, festival organizers, non-profit organizations and businesses - both small and large - during the liquor policy review," said John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform. "Government's support for these recommendations will help transform B.C.'s outdated liquor laws in a host of different ways - enhancing convenience, sparking the economy and creating new opportunities for businesses and non-profits."?

Policy work and implementation planning will be carried out over the coming months.

© Coast Reporter

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