VICTORIA – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) applauds the BC government for announcing in today’s budget its intention to privatize liquor distribution and warehousing. For years CRFA has been calling for changes to the current system, which is inefficient and does not serve stakeholders, including government, particularly well.
“We’re very pleased that the BC government intends to privatize liquor distribution and warehousing, as the Alberta government successfully did a couple of decades ago. Privatizing the LDB will protect government liquor revenues and will lead to increased efficiencies, better product selection, and lower prices for both licensees and consumers,” said Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA’s Vice President, Western Canada. CRFA looks forward to receiving more information on privatizing the Liquor Distribution Branch in the near future.
Numerous economic studies, including reports by the Montreal Economic Institute and the Ontario Beverage Alcohol System Review Panel (Lacey Report), strongly recommend that provincial governments should get out of the distribution and retail of beverage alcohol business.
CRFA also welcomed the news that the Ministers of Energy and Finance will together lead an expedited liquor reform initiative to modernize liquor standards in our province. CRFA looks forward toparticipating in the liquor reform initiative.
CRFA was also pleased to see a commitment to reduce liquor mark-ups to compensate for a three per cent increase in liquor tax once the 10 per cent PST is re-introduced on liquor sales.
CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. British Columbia’s $10-billion restaurant industry directly employs more than 173,000 people in communities across the province.
Contact: Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western Canada, 604-685-9655 or cell 604-809-5719 or email@example.com.