Even with changes B.C. booze still highest in Canada: critic

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

The British Columbian government is trying to make its newly minted happy hour less depressing by lowering prices – but only if you drink beer and if you order it by the pitcher.

Victoria announced Friday the minimum price for an ounce of beer will be 20 cents, making a pitcher about $12 minimum.

But customers cannot buy beer for that price in a glass or pint.

Spirits will go up to a $3 per ounce minimum from $2.

Outrage was on tap last month after the BC Liberal government announced the minimum prices set for happy hour were, in some cases, higher than the normal price for a drink.

Paddy Treavor of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of B.C. said the changes announced Friday are just a step in the right direction - and pointed out B.C. will still have the highest prices in Canada.

Treavor also said because the change only applies to pitchers it simply affects the places serving big brand lagers, as craft establishments don’t often sell pitchers.

“I think it’s a kneejerk reaction to public and media pressure,” said Treavor. “It makes no sense to have one serving size at one price and another serving size at another.”

Treavor said his group intends to keep up the pressure until more changes are made.

In the meantime the province has seemingly prepared for the lower prices to be a success.

As of July 16, taxis in Vancouver are able to charge a passenger $75 for “soiling” the interior of a vehicle.

Previously cabs could charge for cleaning or repair costs, but there was no set amount.


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