The B.C. Liberals brand themselves as pro-business.
So, we're hopeful the provincial government will extend that support to the hospitality industry by upgrading our province's archaic liquor laws.
John Yap, parliamentary secretary for liquor policy reform, is visiting cities across the province seeking input from industry and the public.
Let's hope bar owners, staff and everyday British Columbians take the opportunity to meet with him and write to the ministry in support of sensible changes.
There are many inconsistencies within our liquor laws, especially for a province where the wine industry and tourism are major employers.
A father can have a beer at a junior hockey game with his kids in the stands next to him, yet the same family may not sit on a licensed patio where food is served.
B.C.'s laws are outdated when compared with other jurisdictions.
While we're certainly not advocating for public rowdiness or promoting impaired driving, pubs and restaurants are there for a reason - to entertain, especially in a tourist town like ours.
Owners definitely have a responsibility, but the way laws are administered also needs to be addressed. Patrons ought to share an equal burden of responsibility for their own actions in situations where bar owners are currently penalized.
Perhaps the minister could study countries where more liberal liquor laws have worked for decades, such as many of the European nations.
There, alcohol is not some mystical substance that must be kept away from the eyes of the young.
It's accepted in moderation in public and family settings. Because of this, young people are less likely to jump in the deep end when they turn 19.
-James Miller, Penticton Herald