Privatizing B.C’s liquor distribution a fair process
Minister Responsible for Liquor Distribution
I am writing to let your readers know why the Province recently approached the private sector about creating a more modernized and cost-effective way to warehouse and distribute liquor in British Columbia.
Currently in British Columbia, liquor is warehoused and distributed at two government owned warehouses located in Vancouver and Kamloops. These facilities fall short of modern warehousing standards and would cost millions of dollars to replace – dollars that would be better spent on supporting important services like healthcare and education.
By going to the private sector to acquire a new warehouse and to create a new distribution system, the province will continue to enjoy high levels of service, while eliminating a long-term cost. Not only will we see this cost disappear, but the eventual sale of the warehouse properties will result in even more dollars for services British Columbians depend on.
So while we’re looking to the private sector to handle the storage and distribution of liquor, I want to be clear that the liquor retail business in B.C. will remain with the provincial government. This means that the pricing of alcohol will not be determined by the private sector – it will remain in the hands of the Province.
Liquor provides important revenues to every province and that will continue here in British Columbia. To ensure these dollars continue to be available and protected, the provincial government will continue to oversee the collection of provincial revenues.
By continuing to oversee the pricing of liquor and revenue collection, both consumers and taxpayers will be protected. Keeping these under the Province’s control is in the best interest of all British Columbians and because of this we expect liquor prices will remain very similar to what people pay right now.
I’d also like to share with readers the process surrounding a Negotiated Request for Proposal (NRFP). When government seeks out proposals of this nature from private companies the process follows strict government policy and is subject to confidentiality and conflict of interest rules. Proposals from private companies are evaluated by a professional team of senior government staff who have access to any expertise they need. This liquor distribution NRFP is no different.
Anyone questioning the fairness of NRFP process should know all the rules are being followed; all the proponents have access to the information they need; and all proponents will be evaluated equally.
In addition, a fairness monitor has been hired to oversee the process and ensure that each proposal undergoes the same scrutiny and evaluation. A fairness summary of the NRFP will also be publicly available.
So again, moving forward I’d like to make it clear government will remain in control of liquor pricing and revenue collection, government liquor stores are not up for sale, and this process is a fair one to select the best proponent.
As a government, our goals are to save the province millions of dollars in capital investment, to protect existing revenues for core services, and to ensure equal or superior liquor distribution in British Columbia. Through an open, transparent and fair process, we are confident all three are achievable.
BC LIBERAL GOVERNMENT CAUCUS
For immediate release
May 11, 2012
ARGYLE SECONDARY SLATED FOR SEISMIC UPGRADES
NORTH VANCOUVER – The Province has committed funding to seismically upgrade Argyle Secondary, in North Vancouver’s School District 44, as part of the ongoing Seismic Mitigation Program.
Why this matters:
· Argyle Secondary was selected from the most recent district capital plan and is a top-ranked project based on an updated assessment of seismic safety risk.
“I remember from my tenure on the North Vancouver Board of Education that Argyle Secondary was at the top of the list for an upgrade. So, I am pleased that this project is going ahead. I am sure the students, parents and staff are looking forward to it!”
- Jane ThornthwaiteNorth Vancouver-Seymour MLA
“We are greatly appreciative of the Ministry’s inclusion of Argyle Secondary in their latest commitment to the Province’s School Seismic Mitigation Program. Argyle was built over 50 years ago, at a time when seismic risk was not well-understood and schools were not built to the safety standards of today. We are now in a position to move forward, establish a formal project agreement, and address this high-priority building on behalf of present and future students, staff and families of Argyle Secondary and the North Vancouver community.”
- Franci Stratton, North Vancouver School District chair
· This project is part of a revised list of 152 high-priority schools to be addressed under the School Seismic Mitigation Program at an estimated total cost of $1.3 billion.
Ministry of Education, Seismic Mitigation Program: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/capitalplanning/seismic/
Media contact: Mark Knudsen, B.C. Government Caucus Communications: 250-356-1539
The following is a press release issued by the Animal Rights Coalition in BC.
PRESS RELEASE March 8, 2012
BILL 24: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Act, 2012
After the slaughter of 100 sled dogs reverberated around the world, government responded to the requests for reform of the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Bill 24 is the result.
Numerous animal welfare groups have approached provincial governments over many years asking for changes in legislation to protect animals from suffering because of the lack of control, accountability, and oversight in how the provincial anti-cruelty laws have been enforced.
22 animal groups from across BC appealed to the government in a prepared brief (see attached) to amend the Act and were heard. Bill 24 addresses many of the issues raised in the brief. Government has confirmed that the top priorities of Bill 24 are to ensure the welfare of animals and to provide British Columbians with an appeal process that is transparent and fair.
The 22 animal groups requested greater accountability and transparency of the BCSPCA and Bill 24 does provide greater insight for the public into the enforcement activities of the BCSPCA. Bill 24 also provides for greater oversight by the Ministry of Agriculture of the BCSPCA`s enforcement activities.
The 22 animal groups requested a quicker and more cost-effective appeal process and Bill 24 provides such an appeal process that will save animal lives and ensure fair treatment.
Bill 24 should be supported by everyone who cares about the welfare of animals.
Animal Rights Coalition, Spokesperson
Vancouver BC 604 339 3424 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Newalta plant uses waste hydrogen from a neighbouring plant in it’s recycling and refining, and heats its facilities with waste heat.
Capilano University Students took home first place in the 2011 Tourism and University Case Competition.
We believe in Open Government and Accountability at every level.
I gave a Two Minute Statement on Animal Cruelty Laws this week.
Here’s me with the Executive Board of the Vancouver Water Ski Club. The Province of British Columbia granted them a community gaming grant of $13,500.