FORSETH – Do we really need more places to get a drink in B.C.?

Scotch and a haircut?

Booze and a haircut? (BC Govt photo)

YESTERDAY, from the B.C. Government’s Jobs Plan, came news that, “… liquor licences will soon be available to all types of B.C. businesses, including barber shops!”

Alan ForsethReally, there aren’t enough places already for people to get a drink?

The news release went on to say that effective Jan. 23 of next year:

Businesses like barber shops, salons, spas, cooking schools, art galleries and book stores will be able to apply for a liquor licence to diversify their business model and serve liquor to customers.

All types of businesses will be able to apply for a liquor primary licence, so long as they do not operate from a motor vehicle or target minors.

This change will provide flexibility for businesses to expand and offer new services to their patrons … and increase consumer choice for British Columbians.

Well, thank goodness they won’t be able to operate from a motor vehicle, but tell me, “How exactly will these patrons, imbibing on the spirits, be arriving and leaving from said businesses?”

But you say, “I should have the convenience of enjoying a glass of bubbly while I enjoy reading my new book, or have my nails trimmed and buffed.”

Too bad … enjoy it at home!

There are already three dozen liquor stores in Kamloops … few if any restaurants don’t already have liquor available … and it’s the same for nearly every hotel in the city as well.

Yesterday’s announcement from our B.C. Liberal government included a quote from Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch:

“One of government’s goals is to ensure that doing business in B.C. is easy and exciting. Creating new liquor licence and permit options for businesses is part of our ongoing effort to remove operating obstacles for businesses, create ease of access for consumers, and still maintain B.C.’s health and safety standards.”

Okay … so the government is going to make it easy to get into business, but tell me, “What is exciting about more alcohol being served in Kamloops?” … and as I’ve already mentioned, do we really need more ease of access, especially when the majority of people will be arriving in the spa’s, bookstores, hair saloons, and art galleries, in vehicles?

I’m not going to take the time to add up every location in Kamloops, where the people of our city can already enjoy, or buy, their favorite beverage, I think most people already are well aware there must be several hundred. Do we really need more?

In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth.

Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada, the B.C. Reform Party and the B.C. Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.

About Mel Rothenburger (7232 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

9 Comments on FORSETH – Do we really need more places to get a drink in B.C.?

  1. I have a shot of Scottish dew every night before supper watching the local news.Do we need more booze outlets? No..There are the fools who still drink and drive.Sad.

  2. Sorry Alan, but it’s time to get with the program. The liquor laws in our province, while starting to creak along from the dark ages, are still rediculously antiquated, and this is a step in the right direction.

    You can dress it up however you like, a quick cash grab or whatnot. Some of us will call it modernization and a minor effort at reducing restricted freedoms. Chris Wright has hit the nail on the head regarding being responsible – those laws and people’s responsibility don’t change because liquor can be sold or consumed in more places. If your barber did start to offer a shot of bailey’s in a coffee, does that mean you’re forced to drink it? Come on, the social responsibility bit lies completely with the consumer, otherwise your argument should be to restrict alcohol consumption entirely outside of the home.

    That said, I think the taxes and cash grabs around liquor really need to be the next thing to be on the modernization block as well.

  3. I started out in another province. Just outside the city was a live stock auction facility. It was a new facility and was allowed to sell alcohol. A little alcohol will loosen the tongue and the grip on the wallet. Good for business after all.

    It lasted until one of the drinking patrons decided to drive back to the city in the wrong set of lanes. The result, the loss of at least a couple of innocent motorists .

    Alcohol is here to stay (and I don’t mind). Unfortunately it is now being treated like soda pop not the drug that it is.

  4. Yes, maybe even at your local sports shop! Hey, have a shot before taking a shot. Operating a firearm while just very slightly impaired seems like a pretty modern idea to me. “Under .o8” is a pretty good group size for any shooter.

  5. Well, I hardly ever agree with anyone but I have to say, who wants hair in their wine!?! I don’t even take the coffee or tea for that reason! But really having a DD for you spa appointment…come on. Drinking and driving is prevelent enough already, do we need it everywhere?

  6. Greetings Kathy and Chris …

    My point is that there are already far and away enough places for people to consume alcohol. Rather than benefiting the individuals who care to drink, the ONLY thing, for a greedy government hell-bent on removing every cent of our money they can, is getting increased revenue from the taxes they will receive from more alcohol being sold.

    Yes I am conservative by nature, however the social conscience side of me sees nothing but trouble from this … much the same as ever increasing availability to gambling has only seen increased tax revenue for the government, and left less money in the pockets of people, many of whom can’t afford their losses.

    This is little more than another of the BC Liberal’s hidden tax grabs.

  7. I sort of agree with you Alan, but isn’t this free enterprise at its finest? And isn’t government regulation anathema to the conservative philosophy?

  8. Chris Wright // November 17, 2016 at 4:45 PM // Reply

    “But you say, “I should have the convenience of enjoying a glass of bubbly while I enjoy reading my new book, or have my nails trimmed and buffed.”

    Too bad … enjoy it at home!”

    Um.. no. It’s a free country and the measures government has taken over the decades to limit those freedoms has been horrendous. So even something seemingly inconsequential to the rest of our freedoms, like loosening liquor laws is at least a step in the right direction.

    How will people get to those locations serving alcohol? Car, bus, taxi, walking, cycling, uber… oh wait. Can’t allow ride sharing in this province. Another limit of freedoms.

    The point is, there are already laws against impaired driving. It doesn’t matter where you consume the alcohol. Perhaps people should have some personal responsibility and not rely on the government to be responsible for them. Your line of thinking that the government needs to be our nanny is exactly the type of thought that led to the decisions that make BC a hard place to do business in the first place.

  9. Art galleries actually makes some sense, for those who enjoy special evenings at an opening, I get that. Cooking schools kind of make sense as well … assuming its for the customer enjoying dinner.
    Book stores and spas are a reach, but barber shops and salons? Really? A beer and a shave? A sherry and a coif? Nothing could go wrong there eh?

    Apparently, ANY business can apply for a license, so long as it doesn’t operate from a motor vehicle or target minors as customers.

    That means a cup of beer at a movie? How about a shot of tequila at the tax accountant? A lovely Bordeaux at the doctors office … where does it end? I know … a 6 pack while waiting for the mechanic to fix your car.

    A little restraint may be order here.

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