June 08, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

Here’s what you’ll find in today’s COVID-19 update:

  • Update on Hospitality Pricing: message from Attorney General
  • Temporary authorization for hospitality customers to sell their existing liquor stock
  • BC Chamber of Commerce Townhall with WorkSafeBC: June 11
  • New and updated COVID-19 signage
  • Update from BC Hospitality Foundation: Reconnect 2020 on June 27
  • Restaurants Canada: Rapid Recovery Series
  • Drinking in public spaces: North Vancouver and Penticton pilot projects

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

Update on hospitality pricing: message from Attorney General

Thank you to all members who called, emailed, and sent letters to government in recent weeks on the vital importance of hospitality pricing for on-premise licensees. 

Your voices have been heard at the highest levels of government and are helping us keep this issue at the forefront.

We understand that a decision on a hospitality pricing will be made very soon.

In the meantime, we have received the following email from Attorney General David Eby on government’s work to support BC’s hospitality industry amid this crisis:

Thank you and your members, along with many others, for sharing your concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality and tourism sectors, and your perspectives on allowing for the purchase of liquor product at wholesale price.

Please know that government recognizes the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all British Columbians, including the hospitality sector. Together, we have worked to respond swiftly to support the Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health in the sustained and effective response to this global pandemic.  

I know British Columbians – myself and my colleagues included – recognize restaurants and businesses for their contributions to this effort and are well prepared to support our local establishments in the economic re-start and recovery ahead.

As a result of our collaboration with the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP) as industry advisors, our government was able to move quickly to support the hospitality sector as it worked to adapt to the parameters set out by the Provincial Health Officer.  Among other measures, we introduced a regulatory change to temporarily allow all food-primary and most liquor-primary licensees to deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal.

Prior to the pandemic, government had been carefully considering and prioritizing recommendations made by BTAP, including potential changes to the wholesale liquor pricing model.  The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) and ministry staff have worked as quickly as possible to prepare a plan, and work is ongoing. The implications of any and all BTAP recommendations must be, and will continue to be, considered in the context of overall provincial priorities including public health and safety.  

I appreciate your taking the time to write, and invite you to share this letter with your members if you feel it would be helpful. Please let them know that government will do as much as we can to support the hospitality and tourism industries that have been so impacted by this crisis.

We will be sure to notify BTAP, industry, and indeed all British Columbians of any additional relief measures made during this challenging time on an urgent basis.

Yours truly, David Eby, QC
Attorney General

We once again thank the Attorney General and his staff for their hard work and diligence during this difficult time. 

Rest assured that, as soon as government announces any decision on hospitality pricing, we will let you know.

Temporary authorization for hospitality customers to sell their existing liquor stock 

This morning, BC government announced new temporary relief measures to support hospitality licensees who have had to suspend their operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These hospitality licensees will be allowed to sell their existing liquor stock to other licensees who are still operating and/or to private liquor stores.

The temporary authorization from the LDB was requested by the Business and Technical Advisory Panel as a way of supporting the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we’re working on ways to help those of you are able to reopen, we’re aware of the sad truth that some establishments will not be able to. We hope this temporary policy change will be a way for you to offload your stock.

This authorization takes effect immediately and is set to expire on July 15, 2020. However, as the pandemic is an evolving situation, LDB will review this and other temporary authorizations as necessary.

Sales will be authorized under the framework established in the LDB’s Private Sale of Liquor Policy and include the following parameters:

  • This policy directive allows hospitality licensees who have temporarily closed to sell their existing liquor stock to hospitality licensees who remain operational and/or to Licensee Retail Stores
  • Hospitality licensees will be permitted to determine their own sale prices, so long as the price is not set below the minimum wholesale price
  • LDB’s 5% administrative fee normally applied to private sales under this policy will be waived for the duration of the initiative
  • Under this policy, LRS are not authorized to sell to hospitality nor are they permitted to sell to other LRS

Read the LDB policy directive here.

BC Chamber of Commerce Townhall with WorkSafeBC: June 11

BC Chamber has partnered with WorkSafeBC to host a webinar on workplace health and safety during COVID-19.

Topics will include:

  • COVID-19 transmission and risks
  • How to control the risk of exposure in the workplace
  • Supporting the mental well-being of your workers
  • Best practices for working from home
  • Resources for your business

There is no cost, but you must register to attend by Wednesday, June 10 at 5:00 pm.

Register here.

New and updated COVID-19 signage

We have updated the COVID-19 signage in our online store with new and more professional designs. 

Download free PDF copies below or by visiting our online store:

If you have additional signage requests, please email Danielle: danielle@ablebc.ca

Update from BC Hospitality Foundation: Reconnect 2020

Join the BC Hospitality Foundation for Reconnect 2020: Saturday, June 27 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The goal of Reconnect 2020 is to showcase a new way to connect and to raise funds for the BC Hospitality Foundation.

The hybrid event will have a small in-person audience and large virtual audience:

  • The on-line audience will have their own host engaging with them from the BCHF’s video studio
  • The in-person audience will have their own host and they will also be able to interact with the on-line audience

Both the online and in person audience will enjoy music and entertainment while they bid online on amazing auction items. 

Register for the in-person event ($149 per person) here
Register for the online event (free) here.
Check out the online auction opening June 20 here.

Join us at Reconnect 2020 is to raise funds for the BC Hospitality Foundation and to support the hospitality, tourism, meeting, conference and event industry.

Donate a silent auction item:

The online auction for Reconnect 2020 will open on June 20 at noon and close June 27 at 6:45 pm at the live event. 

If you can donate auction items or make a cash donation please register your donation here. Donation deadline is June 15, 2020. 

Please be ready to supply a logo and donated item description and photo. If you have any questions, please contact Dana Lee Harris (Executive Director, BC Hospitality Foundation): dana@danalee.biz

Benefits for your auction donation are as follows:

  • Inclusion on the Givergy website
  • Featured on main floor video wall to the in-person audience
  • Showcased in the second-floor video studio to the virtual audience
  • Showcased on digital program guide 
  • Promoted on BCHF Social Media

Restaurants Canada: Rapid Recovery Series

Join Restaurants Canada, along with key industry leaders and trailblazing experts, for the RC Connects Rapid Recovery Series: June 9 to June 11. 

Over three days, enjoy 10 FREE one-hour livestream sessions that address some of the major challenges and pressing issues facing the foodservice industry during COVID-19 recovery.

Connect with other like-minded operators, and gain access to Restaurants Canada member resources and suppliers all focused on rebuilding the hospitality industry.

Learn more and register here

Rapid Recovery Series sessions include: 

  • COVID-19 impact and industry outlook
  • Opening your doors to a safer future
  • What’s your post-COVID profit model
  • Navigating landlord and tenant agreements
  • Driving your online revenue
  • Rebuilding your workforce
  • Winning your customer back
  • Engineering your menu for profits
  • Leveraging the supply chain for the future
  • CEO panel – driving business forward

Reserve your free spot here.

Drinking in public spaces: North Vancouver and Penticton pilot projects

Earlier this week, the City of North Vancouver voted to allow public drinking in some parks and civic plazas this summer. It’s the first jurisdiction in the country outside Quebec to allow the consumption of alcohol in some public places.

The parks chosen for the pilot project include a portion of Waterfront Park, Victoria Park West, part of Mahon Park, Civic Plaza near city hall, Grand Boulevard, part of Ray Perrault Park, Kings Mill Walk Park, part of Shipbuilders Square and Cates Deck.

Liquor consumption in the chosen parks will be allowed between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week.

City staff looked at several city criteria when picking the parks, including proximity to washrooms, access to food and beverage businesses, proximity to multi-family housing, areas popular for picnicking and areas “busy with people which promotes pro-social behaviour.”

Hours at some public washrooms may be extended during the pilot.

North Vancouver City Council also approved a new street action plan as part of a separate motion that will see some traffic lanes closed to allow for things like expanded patios and parklets in hopes of helping businesses.

Penticton is also moving forward with a scaled-back version of a proposed pilot project that would allow people to drink alcohol at certain public parks and beaches.

The one-month pilot project (wrapping up July 4) will allow drinking at parks and beaches along the Okanagan Lake waterfront from Power Street to Marina Way Park between noon and 8 p.m.

This week, Vancouver City Council rejected a motion to allow drinking in public spaces. Part of council’s discussion was that the decision is actually up to Vancouver’s park board, not council itself. 

City staff have now been directed to report back to council with a plan to legalize alcohol consumption in parks “as quickly as possible.”

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 info@ablebc.ca.

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