October 01, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:

  • 2020 Virtual BC Liquor Conference registration is open
  • Updated Liquor Primary Best Practices Handbook
  • Updated ABLE BC COVID-19 Advocacy Report
  • Provincial state of emergency extended
  • What to do if an employee has COVID-19
  • BC Liberals commit to eliminating PST immediately
  • New Temporary Foreign Worker registration program
  • Webinar on October 15: Key considerations in preparing for a corporate sale or M&A transaction
  • You’re invited: Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit
  • Freeze It For Them: support this Beer Canada campaign
  • Reminder: Serving Liquor and Bottle Service

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

2020 Virtual BC Liquor Conference Registration is open

The BC Liquor Conference is back for a fifth year and we are going virtual!
This year’s conference will take place online on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

No matter where you are in the province, tune in and get the actionable steps and knowledge you need to adapt and survive COVID-19. Plus get liquor industry data, trends, and policy updates you can’t get anywhere else.

Register now for the virtual BC Liquor Conference.

2020 Conference Highlights:

  • Address from the Hon. David Eby, Attorney General
  • Liquor Industry Update from ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard
  • Educational seminars on: dealing with difficult customers, accessing government pandemic funding, COVID-19 and legal liability, liquor retail trends, post-COVID profitability for bars and pubs, and more
  • Closing panel on BC’s election and what the future holds
  • Virtual happy hour and networking opportunities

Learn more and register now.

Updated Liquor Primary Best Practices Handbook

We have recently updated our Liquor Primary Best Practices Handbook, to reflect the new PHO public order.

Download a copy of the handbook.

Find all COVID-19 resources on our website.

Updated ABLE BC COVID-19 Advocacy Report

Since the start of the pandemic, ABLE BC has been working hard every single day to advocate for your interests, protect your businesses, and help ensure the survival of our industry.

Download our updated COVID-19 Advocacy Report to learn more about the work we’ve been doing on your behalf.

Join ABLE BC: during this crisis, your businesses have been dramatically impacted – the association has too. Our success is tied to your success.

If you’re not already a member of ABLE BC and want to support the work we’re doing to help our industry survive, we would appreciate your membership now more than ever.

Sign-up for your membership online.

Please contact Danielle if you have any other questions or concerns: danielle@ablebc.ca.

Provincial state of emergency extended

On September 29, the Province of British Columbia formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on October 13, 2020, to allow staff to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

For more information, please read the BC Government news release.

What to do if an employee has been exposed to or may have COVID-19

The BC Centre for Disease Control offers the following tips for managing ill employees:

  • Employees who voluntarily self-isolate due to illness can return to work after 10 days when all symptoms have resolved. A residual cough may persist, but you can be cleared to return to work if all other symptoms have resolved.
  • Employees with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 will be contacted and followed-up by public health.
  • If an employee has a COVID-19 positive diagnosis, the local public health department will identify any co-workers or clients who may have been exposed to the sick employee.
  • Your premises are not required to close following notification of an ill worker. However, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing may be advised. Further information on cleaning can be found on the BCCDC website.

For additional advice, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

BC Liberals commit to immediate elimination of PST

While ABLE BC is getting our election toolkit ready for you, we wanted to let you know about one of the first significant announcements from a political party:

On September 28, the BC Liberals announced that if elected, they will immediately eliminate the PST for one year, followed by cutting it to three per cent in year two until the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please read the announcement.

Let us know! How could this change impact your business? Send your feedback to: jeff@ablebc.ca.

Stay tuned for our provincial election toolkit, coming out next week.

New Temporary Foreign Worker registration program

Employers who want to hire temporary foreign workers will now be required to register with the Province.

Employers who wish to hire foreign nationals through three federal programs – the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot – have until December 15 to register with the provincial government. There is no fee for registering. The process takes 20 minutes to complete, on average.

BC has created the registration requirement to ensure fair working conditions for all workers in the province. This means people from abroad who come here are paid for the hours they work, have a job description that matches the work they perform and ensures their rights and safety are protected while on the job.

The registration requirement will allow the Province to identify which employers hire temporary foreign workers and will enable inspection of those employers and enforcement of provincial law. Until now, there has not been a system that registers and certifies employers who hire workers from other countries.

For more information:

Webinar on October 15: Key considerations in preparing for a corporate sale or M&A transaction

A successful corporate sale process requires significant preparation and planning that should commence months, even years in advance. 

Join McMillan LLP, BDO Canada, and Roynat Equity Partners for a broad ranging panel discussion on the business, financial and legal steps you can take in advance to lay the ground work for a value-maximizing corporate sale. 

This free webinar takes place on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm MST. 

Register here

The panelists include: 

  • Paul Barbeau, Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, McMillan LLP
  • Adam Mallon, Managing Director, BDO Canada
  • Matthew Flynn, Managing Director, Roynat Equity Partners
  • Moderator: Julia Loney, Partner, Business Law, McMillan LLP

Learn more and register here.

You’re invited: Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit

Registration is now open for the 10th annual Canadian Restaurant Investment & Leadership Summit: November 2-5, 2020.

Learn more and register here.

During the week of November 2nd, there will be a series of four complimentary virtual summit sessions.

Join restaurant owners, operators, chain executives, franchise operators, investors, lenders, and key suppliers from across the country for series of thought-provoking discussions. CEOs and executives from leading brands along with industry experts, will share their perspectives on the future of foodservice in Canada.

Summit Schedule: 

  • November 2: The Foodservice Station of the Nation Presentation
  • November 3: The CEO Panel – Restaurant Leaders Reflect
  • November 4: Investment, Finance, and Development Panel Discussion
  • November 5: Technology in Foodservice Panel Discussion

Learn more and register here.

Freeze It For Them: support this Beer Canada campaign

Beer Canada, with the support of industry partners, has launched a new campaign called Freeze It For Them, calling on governments across Canada to freeze beer tax increases.

ABLE BC has signed onto support this campaign.

By asking government to freeze beer tax increases, Beer Canada is asking for one small measure that will help support Canada’s economic recovery, protect and create jobs, and keep dollars in the pockets of Canadians who need it now more than ever.

More than 149,000 Canadians work in jobs directly or indirectly supported by the production and sale of beer. The industry is supported by 10 million beer drinkers across the country who send almost half their beer money to federal and provincial governments with a tax rate that is nearly half of beer’s retail price and nearly five times higher than our neighbours in the United States.

The campaign will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months as part of a multi-channel marketing approach by Here for Beer, an online community of 130,000+ beer enthusiasts run by Beer Canada. 

For more information and to support the campaign, visit: www.freezeitforthem.ca

Reminder: Serving Liquor and Bottle Service

With the recent PHO public order cutting off liquor sales at 10:00 pm, we know some customers may be ‘loading up’ or trying to buy more alcohol before last call.

We understand how painful these new regulations are and are working hard to get them changed for you, but we wanted to remind you of the terms and conditions around serving liquor.

Drink Sizes

You must encourage moderate consumption at all times and not provide a customer with a single serving larger than the maximum serving sizes specified below.

Distilled liquor:

  • Single servings of no more than 3 fl oz (85 ml) per person at a time
  • Drinks that two or more patrons intend to share may be served in pitchers or similar, but the maximum of 3 fl oz (85 ml) per person must be maintained
  • You cannot sell or serve whole bottles of distilled liquor (“bottle service”)

Draught beer and cider:

  • Single servings of no more than 24 oz (682 ml)
  • Smaller servings of multiple brands, provided the total served at one time is no more than 24 oz (682 ml)
  • Pitchers or other multiple serving containers, provided it is shared by two or more patrons and contains no more than 60 oz (1.7 litres)

Bottled beer:

  • Maximum two standard-sized or one large-sized (up to 24 oz or 682 ml) bottle of beer per patron at one time


  • Single servings of 10 oz (284 ml) or smaller servings of multiple brands provided the total served at one time is no more than 10 oz (284 ml)
  • The standard 750 ml bottle, if it is to be consumed by at least two patrons with food
  • Non-refillable containers of 0.75 litre to 1.5 litres, or in refillable containers of no more than 1.5 litres

The maximum single serving size can be divided into two or more different types of drinks, provided the total does not exceed two standard drinks.
For more information, please refer to the Terms and Conditions handbooks.

Join the fight! Become a member today.


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