August 13, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

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

  • Recap of last week’s updates
  • ABLE BC membership renewals
  • ABLE BC in the news
  • Hospitality industry COVID-19 protocols
  • ABLE BC webinar on August 26: Violence prevention and conflict resolution in the workplace
  • LDB Hospitality Product Catalogue “Opt Out” Process for Directly Delivered Exclusive Products
  • LDB Wholesale survey: improving the product pricing process
  • Reminder: Serving it Right certifications expire on September 15
  • Reminder: apply for temporary layoff extension by August 25
  • Free webinar on August 17: temporary layoff extensions
  • Federal government launches updated Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: or

Recap of last week’s updates 

Here’s what you may have missed from ABLE BC last week:

  • Urgent update on August 4: revised public health order effective immediately
  • Update on August 4:
    • New private cannabis retail store regulations: sell products online for pickup in store
    • Temporary authorization for liquor manufacturers to direct deliver
    • LDB Wholesale: Monthly price update
    • Dr. Bonnie Henry’s ‘Good Times Guide’
    • Federal extension of Canada’s Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program
    • Vancouver City Council approves liquor consumption at four public plazas
    • Downtown Vancouver BIA: COVID-19 Economic Impact & Recovery Snapshot
    • BDO Webinar on August 20: How the retail and hospitality industry can rise above the current landscape
  • Update on August 6:
    • COVID-19 Advocacy Work Report
    • Updated Liquor Primary Best Practices Handbook
    • BC State of Emergency extended
    • Reminder: apply for temporary layoff extensions
    • COVID-19 Tourism Impact Report
    • Employer responsibilities: employees who are travelling
  • Fall 2020 issue of the Quarterly Pour is out: read and share with your staff

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

ABLE BC membership renewals

Last week, we mailed out our 2020-21 membership renewals. If you haven’t received your renewal package, please contact Danielle:

It has now been six months since the global COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc on Canada’s economy and disrupting our way of life. We certainly don’t need to tell you that BC’s hospitality industry was hit first – and hit hardest – by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Unfortunately, this crisis is far from over. We won’t know the true economic costs of this pandemic for many months. We have a lot more work to do if our industry is to weather this storm – the worst in several generations. No matter what happens next, please know we will always be in your corner, fighting on your behalf. 

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. 

In the past few months alone, we’ve helped ensure that liquor retail was declared an “essential service” and secured discounted wholesale pricing for our LP members. Please download our COVID-19 advocacy report for more information.

We know many businesses have been dramatically impacted by this crisis – the association has been too. As our continued ability to advocate on your behalf and push for change depends on your membership, we would sincerely appreciate prompt payment of your membership dues

Thank you to all those members who have already paid their renewal invoices. If you have any questions or concerns about your membership, please contact Danielle:

ABLE BC in the news

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and reported outbreaks at hospitality establishments, ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard has been actively speaking with the media about this issue. We’ve been working to highlight the positive work our industry is doing to provide a safe and healthy environment for their patrons and staff.

For instance, watch this recent interview with Jeff on CTV News Vancouver on the growing frustration over patrons refusing to follow the rules.

Hospitality industry COVID-19 protocols

We know recent media coverage has unfairly painted our industry as largely to blame for the rise in COVID-19 cases, while it is often actually customers refusing to follow the protocols you have in place.

ABLE BC will continue to defend our industry in the media and share ‘good news’ stories, but it is vitally important that operators adhere to all COVID-19 protocols and public health order conditions.

We encourage operators to adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ or ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ policy for those patrons that won’t abide by the rules.

For more information please see:

If you have any questions or concerns about the protocols, please contact us:

ABLE BC webinar on August 26: Violence prevention and conflict resolution in the workplace

go2HR, in collaboration with the BCHA and ABLE BC, is pleased to offer the following webinar:

Violence Prevention & Conflict Resolution in the WorkplaceWednesday, August 26 from 1:00 to 2:00pm PDT

Facilitated by Phil Eastwood, a leading expert in workplace violence and conflict resolution, this session will include:

  • An overview of the history of violence prevention in British Columbia, current WorkSafeBC regulations and the legal responsibilities that they place on employers across the province.
  • The proactive steps that those in the tourism and hospitality industry can take to minimize and mitigate risks and hazards that their staff are exposed to, with a focus on issues surrounding physical distancing policies and the wearing of face masks.
  • The role and legal responsibilities of employees, front-line supervisors and managers will be examined.
  • Risk assessing using traditional methods and recent advances in ‘Visual Literacy’ will be explored, as well as a discussion on preventative and best-practice training methods.
  • The 5 Myths regarding Workplace Conflict
  • 5 things that managers and supervisors can do right now to support their staff when they are faced with COVID-19 related aggression
  • Verbal Judo: A proven de-escalation technique

Who Should Attend: this complimentary session is ideally suited to owners, managers, supervisors, health and safety and human resource professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry

Duration: 45 minutes, with 15 minutes Q&A to follow

Register: register now and submit your questions no later than 12:00PM PDT, Tuesday, August 25.

Once registered, a Zoom link and instructions will be sent a day prior to the webinar.

LDB Hospitality Product Catalogue ‘Opt Out’ Process for Directly Delivered Exclusive Products

LDB Wholesale has shared the following update for vendors on the hospitality product catalogue:

As part of the temporary hospitality pricing model allowing hospitality customers to purchase liquor at wholesale price until March 31, 2021, customers with BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) Hospitality Product Catalogue accounts will also have access to wholesale prices and product information in a searchable price list. 

We recognize that there are unintended but potential implications of publishing exclusive, direct delivered products in the LDB Hospitality Product Catalogue and hospitality price list. To that end the LDB worked with Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP) members and industry representatives to develop an opt-out solution.

Please note that the Hospitality Product Catalogue will now list all products starting September 1, 2020 unless the vendor requests their exclusive direct delivered products to be removed. 

Vendors have until August 21, 2020 to complete and submit the “opt out” form listing the qualifying exclusive direct delivered products to be removed from the Hospitality Product Catalogue. Please email completed forms and any questions to LDB Vendor Relations at:

Exclusive products removed from the Hospitality Product Catalogue and hospitality price list will not have any information made available to customers.

Hospitality customers seeking product details and pricing information will need to contact the vendor directly for pricing information on exclusive products not listed in the hospitality price list and Hospitality Product Catalogue.

LDB Wholesale Survey: improving the product pricing process

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is embarking on an initiative to make its product pricing process more efficient and to improve the customer experience when accessing price change information.

They are exploring opportunities to modernize their systems and automate pricing updates thus reducing pricing turnaround time and enabling more frequent price changes and promotions that are extended to the customer.

The first step in the initial planning phase is to gather information from stakeholders and customers that will help guide their decision making going forward: complete the LDB survey here.

Questions explore the current process and the challenges wholesale customers might face when receiving a price change for a product. 

Please note the deadline for completing the survey is 5:00 pm, Friday, August 28, 2020.

Reminder: Serving it Right certifications expire on September 15

A reminder for you and your staff: for individuals who have a Serving it Right card with no given expiry date (issued before September 15, 2015), these SIR certificates will now all expire September 15, 2020.

If you received your SIR after September 15, 2015, the expiry date will appear on your certificate 5 years after issue. 

Recertifications can be done here.

Reminder: apply for temporary layoff extension by August 25

With only two weeks until the application deadline, employees and employers who need to extend temporary layoffs beyond the August 30, 2020, expiry date are entering a critical phase to meet deadlines.

Businesses requiring an extension should apply for a variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application by August 25.

Last month, the Ministry of Labour launched a simplified variance application process to help businesses navigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic more easily. The redesigned process replaces paper-based applications, allows all documents to be sent by email and reduces the burden on employers and employees by providing the templates and tools needed to apply.

In order to receive a variance, an employer must survey employees eligible for an extension to their temporary layoff and the business must ensure it has more than 50% support before applying.

Employers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. An application deadline is set for August 25 for employees and employers to jointly apply for an extension, to ensure that all applications will be processed by the August 30 expiry date.

The temporary layoff variance process is intended to maintain ongoing relationships between businesses and their employees. This can ensure faster startups when a business is ready to resume operations.

Under BC’s Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, or until Aug. 30, before the layoff becomes permanent.

Free webinar on August 17: temporary layoff extensions

TIABC and the Ministry of Labour are co-hosting a free webinar on temporary layoff extensions.

The expiry for temporary layoffs is August 30, and employers are reminded to get their applications in by the deadline of August 25th at the latest.

For employers with 50+ employees, it can take time – even a week – to survey employees. This means employers should start the process as soon as possible, in order to meet the application deadline.

Some employers may not know at this stage whether they will need to extend the temporary lay-off period past August 30 (i.e. they may be hoping to recall their staff by then).

If employers think there is a chance they may need to extend, we recommend they make an application to avoid potentially missing the deadline. Employers can still recall their employees even if a variance has been granted.

Join this free webinar on August 17 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT to learn more.

Register here. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Federal government launches updated Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers

Earlier this week, the Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched an updated and improved Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy online calculator. It will help small and large employers alike prepare to apply for the next period of the CEWS program, which will open for applications on August 17.

The CEWS calculator can be found on the CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy web page, which includes detailed information to help employers understand how the CEWS can support their employees and operations, who is eligible to apply, and how claim periods are structured. 

The calculator uses a step-by-step approach to get employers to enter information about their business situation to provide an estimate of the subsidy they can expect to receive.

The calculator also includes printable spreadsheet and statement features that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily.

By providing employers with detailed information about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can assist them in making informed decisions about retaining or re-hiring workers. The CRA will conduct a series of information sessions in the coming weeks for eligible employers and stakeholder organizations.

For more information, please click here.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from WorkSafeBC

Updates and Resources from ABLE BC

Human Resources & Occupational Health & Safety Info from go2HR

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:604-688-5560 or

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