Appendix B: Example of Stakeholder Letter

Dear Stakeholders,

On June 7, 2013 I was appointed by Premier Christy Clark as Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, to conduct a comprehensive review of B.C.’s liquor laws and to make recommendations with respect to the modernization of liquor legislation.

In making recommendations, I am being guided by my terms of reference, which offer the following guiding principles:

  • Government revenue is maintained or increased;
  • Minimize health and social harms caused by liquor;
  • Balance economic and social interests by ensuring public safety and the public interest of British Columbians and their communities is protected;
  • Be evidence-based and transparent; and,
  • Respect obligations under collective agreements and international and inter-provincial trade agreements.

This review is to consider all aspects of liquor policy including licensing, control, and Liquor Distribution Branch distribution. I am charged with providing recommendations that:

  • Create a licensing system that responds to emerging marketplace realties and reflects current lifestyles and societal values;
  • Provide flexibility for businesses and remove operational barriers to help grow the economy, while protecting public safety;
  • Recognize the importance of jobs and investment in the hospitality, tourism and agrifoods sectors, in support of the BC Jobs Plan;
  • Ensure there is a sustainable liquor manufacturing sector; and,
  • Provide for an efficient and effective liquor distribution system.

A key component to success of this process will be receiving comprehensive input from varied groups and individuals throughout British Columbia.  Groups will include those from industry, local government and First Nations, police, and health and social policy associations throughout September and October. I will also be writing to all liquor licensees and liquor agency stores in the province inviting their written submissions.  As well, a Liquor Policy Review website will be launched in September where British Columbians can provide their input to the review.  This opportunity will assist British Columbians in better understanding how our liquor system works today, and provide opportunities for them to explore balanced, common sense approaches for government’s consideration.

I would like to meet with your organization to hear recommendations for modernizing B.C.’s liquor laws. In order to arrange a meeting with me, please contact [name] or [name] during business hours at [phone number] by August 26th. I expect that meetings with stakeholders will be scheduled for up to 90 minutes in duration.  

My report is to be submitted to Minister Anton by November 25, 2013 and will be publicly released. The report must include results from the consultation sessions, identify potential opportunities and challenges, and make recommendations for liquor reform. Minister Anton will then consider the recommendations and has responsibility to bring forward to Cabinet any proposals for reform.

If you wish to meet, I would appreciate receiving a written submission outlining your key themes that align with the principles and objectives of this review. Having this document ahead of time will help me better prepare for our meeting.  Please email it to liquorpolicyreview.meetings@gov.bc.ca.  I would note for you that in order to promote the transparency of this review, written submissions will be made public along with the titles of the groups that I meet with.

I look forward to meeting with you in the fall. Together, we can modernize and improve B.C.’s liquor laws.

Sincerely,

[SIGNED]

John Yap, MLA

Parliamentary Secretary

to the Minister of Justice for Liquor Policy Reform