BC Liquor Law Lowdown


Has the glass been half empty in British Columbia for too long? Many believe that the province’s infamously tight liquor laws are long overdue a makeover. The government somewhat agrees and have launched the B.C. Liquor Policy Review to assess how liquor can be better regulated in the province, without spoiling the fun. The hopes are that the review will lead to a dressing down of B.C’s tight liquor rules, bringing them into the 21st century. As we wait for the verdict of the public opinion forum, which closed last week, here is how your drinking habits might look in the future if the proposed changes go ahead.


What it means for your night out

Lifting B.C’s old school ‘happy hour ban’ could be one major starting point of the reforms. A short session of discounted drinking, often after working hours, has been a common and popular pastime in Europe for decades and even enjoyed across the rest of Canada. You too could soon finally be sipping on 2-4-1 cocktails at 5pm after a hectic week.

Venue licensing is also set to get a shake up. Fancy a glass of prosecco at the hair salon? Or want to grab a beer at the Christmas market? No chance now, but if small business and arts licensing gets the go ahead, you may well be walking around that pop-up art gallery with an equally artful craft beer in hand. This could also include a much hyped potential upgrade to beer sizes at Canucks games from 12oz to 20oz.


What about drinks at your place?

Instead of making a special trip to the liquor store, you could soon be able to pick up a six-pack from Walmart. Not only super convenient, it may also keep your wallet happy as it’s likely this move will make way for lower liquor prices.

However, this is an unpopular decision with many alcohol awareness groups who insist that cheaper booze will encourage excessive drinking. In many countries where you can already pick up cheap alcohol in supermarkets, bars and pubs have seen a decline in customers, forcing them to lower prices in order to compete.


What you still won’t be able do

The review panel has confirmed that boozing on the beach – or any drinking in public spaces in fact – will still be very much banned.

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