Fernie council to ask for moratorium on liquor privatisation

The City of Fernie council is urging the B.C. government to put a moratorium on the privatisation of the Liquor Distribution Branch.

The City of Fernie council is urging the B.C. government to put a moratorium on the privatisation of the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB). Council is hopeful that a moratorium will allow for more discussion and public consultation on the controversial issue.

Since the provincial government’s announcement in February that they were planning on privatising the LDB distribution system there has been a growing opposition from communities across B.C. Gary Werk, Area Staff Representative for the B.C. Government and Service Employee’s Union (BCGEU), spoke to council on Monday night about the issue and its potential negative impact on the community of Fernie.

“This decision was made without any business plan or consultation with workers, bar and restaurant owners, and other licensees, committees, or the public,” said Werk. “The sale does not just affect the communities with the distribution centres, this sale will have economic and social impacts on all communities.”

Werk went on to say the LDB brings in $390 million net revenue annually and that money goes towards critical public services such as health care, social services, and other community programs. He commented, “Without sufficient provincial government resources, responsibility for these services will be downloaded to municipalities. It makes no sense to sell off a successful, revenue producing government agency to a for-profit private company.”

Werk said liquor prices will increase and selection will go down. “Local businesses like bars, restaurants, and neighbourhood liquor stores in your community will likely face increases in delivery costs that will ultimately be passed on to the consumer,” remarked Werk. “The reality is that this privatisation will cost your community. There will be direct economic costs, and indirect social and health costs.”

The BCGEU also fears that if the government is allowed to privatise liquor distribution, the government retail stores will be next in line to be sold.



Just Posted

Huge snowstorm headed for Elk Valley

Mainroad issues weather event advisory with up to 25cm expected over the next 24 hours

Fernie fatbiking season in full swing

Riders hit the trails on Global Fatbike Day

Fernie man receives federal fire service medal

Kim Sedrovic is retiring from Fernie Fire Rescue after 25 years with the service

Thrift shop turns five

Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society has raised $370,000 since inception

Elk Valley mayors to lead hospital district board

Dean McKerracher, David Wilks elected to Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canada-China relations turn icy over arrest of Chinese exec

The Huawei case has threatened to complicate U.S.-China efforts to resolve a bitter trade dispute.

Prosecutor signs off on former B.C. Liberal government’s quick-wins probe

David Butcher said in a statement released Monday that the RCMP recommended charges under the Elections Act

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Cranbrook planning X-Games style winter festival

Events to include snowmobilers, snowboarders and bands peforming downtown on Feb. 16, 2019

Too many die in heavy truck crashes, B.C. auditor says

Province has no mandatory driver training for commercial vehicles

B.C. city considers scrapping funds for Christmas decorations

Victoria city coun. Ben Isitt doesn’t think the government should pay for any religious symbols

Most Read