FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2013

VANCOUVER – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has submitted eight proposals to the B.C. Liquor Policy Review now underway – from allowing licensees to buy alcohol directly from private stores to giving them flexibility to offer customers ‘Happy Hour’ specials.

CRFA’s top two recommendations for modernizing B.C.’s liquor policies are to move to a flat-tax markup system that offers licensees a wholesale discount and a streamlined liquor licensing system.

“There are many areas for improvement when it comes to B.C.’s liquor policies, but our members tell us that liquor costs and regulations are the biggest obstacles to maintaining and expanding their businesses,” said Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA’s Vice President, Western Canada. “To address these concerns, we are urging the B.C. government to implement a 16 per cent wholesale licensee discount, and replace the outdated liquor/food primary licensing system with a simpler, risk-based single licence system as in Alberta and Ontario.”

CRFA’s submission shows these recommendations can be implemented without eroding government liquor revenue. “In addition to providing economic advantages, a flat-tax model better reflects social interests while offering more flexibility, transparency and future liquor revenue predictability,” said von Schellwitz.

The current licensing system also discourages investment and job creation in the province. “Modern hospitality industry concepts do not fit neatly into a food primary or liquor primary category,” said von Schellwitz. “We can no longer afford to turn away millions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs due to an overly complex, expensive and time-consuming licensing system,” said von Schellwitz.

Click here to read all our recommendations to the B.C. Liquor Policy Review.

British Columbia’s $10-billion restaurant industry is one of the largest employment- and revenue-generating liquor stakeholders. It directly employs more than 166,000 people in every community across the province.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $65 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

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