News British Columbia

Liquor reforms to allow happy hours 0

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Premier Christy Clark announces the B.C. government's support for a second set of key recommendations on liquor policy reform at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Dec. 17. 
(CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)

Premier Christy Clark announces the B.C. government's support for a second set of key recommendations on liquor policy reform at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Dec. 17. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY)

Premier Christy Clark announced more planned changes to B.C.’s liquor laws Tuesday, uncorking a bottle of “happy hour” that’s been aging in the legislative cellar next to a mischievous bottle of “liquor in grocery stores.”

Clark unveiled seven recommendations from a report by parliamentary secretary John Yap, including allowing happy hours and children in pubs at certain times of the day.

Happy hours, when discounts on alcohol are permitted, are popular all over the planet, but have been noticeably absent from B.C. establishments.

But Clark said the happy hour will have limits.

“It is important to have a minimum price in place and it’s important to have a maximum time it can happen,” she said.

Melissa James, who was so tired of Vancouver’s culture of boredom she made a 2010 film about it called No Fun City, said the ideas are good but nothing to brag about.

“Reading the list of recommendations, they’re just things that are normal in normal cities around the world,” said James. “It’s not something to be that excited about. It’s like, ‘We’re almost on par with cities in other countries.’”

James said a culture of repression around liquor in the province amounts to a nanny state.

“Like they said, it’s common sense,” James said. “If you treat people like adults, hopefully they’ll act like adults.”

Yap’s 70 recommendations include selling booze in grocery stores, but Clark has still not committed herself to it. She also said the full report of recommendations would be released in February.

Clark defended accusations the government was dragging out releasing them to keep positive stories in the press.

“Because of the number of recommendations and the complexity of them, we’re working through them piece by piece,” said Clark.

 

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