March 10, 2015
VICTORIA – Almost anyone who enjoys a beer, a glass of wine or spirits will soon see sharp price increases due to the botched B.C. Liberal liquor reforms.
“The Liberals have jacked up the price of just about everything, from healthcare to car insurance to ferry fares to school fees – even camping. Now they’re at it again, and British Columbians will have to pay more just to enjoy a drink,” said David Eby, New Democrat spokesperson on liquor policy.
The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch quietly announced on its website last week that the liquor policy reform related to wholesale pricing will result in price increases for 5,300 different products as of April 1.
In the legislature Tuesday, Attorney General Suzanne Anton tried to pin the blame on producers and accused them of “taking advantage” of the government.
“The B.C. Liberals should stop blaming our wineries, distilleries and craft brewers for increasing the cost of one in five products in B.C., and take responsibility for their failed wholesale price reforms,” said Eby. “We warned the B.C. Liberals that there was confusion and concern about their careless reforms, but they pushed ahead anyway. Now, British Columbians will be paying the price at the till.”
The wholesale price increase may just be the tip of the iceberg. The government has removed a 30 per cent discount from wholesale pricing for wine stores in B.C. that carry product not available in government stores. This will simply put many stores out of business after decades of serving their communities.
“This government was asked by British Columbians to modernize our liquor system, not to punish them with higher prices for beer, wine and spirits,” said Eby. “We thought increasing prices at happy hour under this government was a bad joke, but it looks like the joke is on almost all British Columbians who like a drink once in a while.”