May 20, 2021

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

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

  • Update: indoor dining ban restrictions
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Workplace Policy
  • WorkSafeBC increasing workplace COVID-19 inspections during long weekend
  • Join ABLE BC at our Monthly Q&A on May 27
  • WorkSafeBC visiting BC wineries to help employers prepare for seasonal reopening
  • Summer 2021 issue of the Quarterly Pour is out
  • John Furlong talk: Vision and Inspiration for Today’s Service Industry
  • Apply now for your permanent service area extension
  • New province-wide program supports BC’s anchor tourism organizations
  • 2021 Canadian Wine & Beer Report
  • ABLE BC 2021 Sponsorship Opportunities
  • Wine Australia Virtual Event for Private Retailers
  • BC youth 12+ can register, get vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Dining out has surged in many US metro areas

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

Update: indoor dining ban restrictions

We know many of you are still wondering whether the current ban on indoor dining – set to expire at midnight on May 24 – will be lifted, extended, or modified. We are doing everything possible to get that clarity for you.

This afternoon, Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, and Dr. Henry addressed British Columbians at a press conference. If you watched the conference, we are as disappointed as you are that the Premier did not give a clear answer as to whether indoor dining will resume on Tuesday.

Both Dr. Henry and the Premier indicated that the ‘Circuit Breaker’ will be over on Tuesday. However, when asked by a reporter if indoor dining will resume on Tuesday, the Premier said that while the current public order expires at midnight on Monday, BC’s Restart 2.0 Plan will be announced on Tuesday, May 25. It is unclear if the reopening plan will include new public orders impacting indoor dining.

Frustratingly, we are still in a holding pattern until we hear from the Premier or Dr. Henry on Tuesday if indoor dining will be allowed to resume.

During today’s conference, Dr. Henry said “Nothing is going to be back to 100 per cent on Tuesday. It’s not going to be a light switch. It’s going to be a dimmer switch.” It is currently unclear what that means for your businesses.

ABLE BC knows this is not the answer you were hoping for. And we know how frustrating it is to once again have to wait on the information you need to make vital business decisions. Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to gain the clarity you need in the coming days.

We’ll be back in touch as we know more. As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at with any questions.

COVID-19 Vaccination Workplace Policy

Can employers require that employees take the COVID-19 vaccine?

With almost 60 per cent of eligible British Columbians having had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, we know employers are wondering whether they can mandate that their employees take the vaccine.

ABLE BC Associate Member and Lawyer Ryan Anderson and his firm (Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke LLP) offer some guidance: read it here.

WorkSafeBC increasing workplace COVID-19 inspections during long weekend

WorkSafeBC will be stepping up inspections at workplaces located in potential COVID-19 hotspots over the May long weekend. The purpose of the inspection initiative is to remind businesses they must have measures and controls in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

WorkSafeBC’s inspectional focus will primarily be on restaurants, pubs, and breweries with outdoor patios. The majority of inspections will take place in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.

All employers in BC are required to have a COVID-19 safety plan that assesses risks to workers and implements measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The plan must be reviewed and updated as conditions change.

To assist employers, WorkSafeBC has developed the resource: Reviewing and updating your COVID-19 safety plan: A guide for employers.

Join ABLE BC at our Monthly Q&A on May 27

We invite you to join us at our Monthly Q&A with ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard: Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 am PT.

RSPV here. A Zoom link will be provided one day prior to the meeting.

What to expect during this one-hour meeting:

  • Catch up on anything you’ve missed over the last month
  • Hear directly from our Executive Director about the state of BC’s liquor industry
  • Get an update on our advocacy work and progress
  • Ask questions about liquor policy, regulations, public health orders, and government relations
  • We’ll also be joined by members of ABLE BC’s Board of Directors 

Special Guest: Lisa Houle (Manager, OHS Consultation and Education Services, WorkSafeBC) will be joining us to provide an update from WorkSafeBC on vaccinations in the workplace, COVID-19 inspections and common issues inspectors see, COVID-19 safety plans, temporary patio safety controls, and more.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications):

WorkSafeBC visiting BC wineries to help employers prepare for seasonal reopening

WorkSafeBC has launched an inspectional and consultative initiative at wineries, cideries, and craft breweries in BC’s interior, in advance of the upcoming tourist season.

The initiative will be primarily completed in BC’s interior and will focus on establishments with tasting rooms that may see an increase in customers in the workplaces.

The inspections and consultations will confirm that up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Plans are in place and implemented effectively, and controls are in place to protect workers from COVID-19 transmission.

WorkSafeBC will conduct approximately 40 field inspections and 35 consultations in the sector over the next three weeks.

Since the beginning of 2021, WorkSafeBC has been conducting inspectional initiatives targeting specific industries. These initiatives are informed by WorkSafeBC risk assessments and employer effectiveness surveys, as well as COVID-19 claim numbers, information from BC’s health authorities, and seasonal and temporal factors.

Summer 2021 issue of the Quarterly Pour is out

The Summer 2021 Quarterly Pour is now out! Download it here.

Feature articles in this issue:

John Furlong talk: Vision and Inspiration for Today’s Service Industry

ABLE BC members and staff are invited to join the Terminal City Club for an online event with John Furlong: Friday, May 21 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am PT.

Vision and Inspiration for Today’s Service Industry

John Furlong, OC, OBC is a well-known figure in British Columbia and Canada. Following his 14 years as CEO of the Arbutus Club in Vancouver, he has been widely credited as the man who brought the Olympics back to Canada as President and CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). 

Although overseeing the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games was surely a high point of his career thus far, John is and has been involved in sports organizations and community service at all levels for decades. In this address, intended for hourly staff of Private Clubs, John will share his perspective to help bring back vision and inspiration to those who have worked so hard over the past year to keep our businesses afloat in the midst of a global pandemic.  

Join the event here. No advance registration required.

Apply now for your permanent service area extension

If you have applied for a Temporary Expanded Service Area authorization, the authorizations are currently set to expire on October 31, 2021. If you are planning to make this service area permanent, we strongly recommend you get your application in now.

If the LCRB is reviewing your permanent structural change application, you can still submit a new application for a TESA to follow social distancing requirements within your current occupancy limit.

For more information on permanent structural changes: 

If you need assistance on your application, we recommend working with a liquor licensing consultant. Download ABLE BC’s Buyers’ Guide for a preferred list of service providers.

New province-wide program supports BC’s anchor tourism organizations

The Province is accepting applications for support through BC’s new major anchor attractions and tour bus companies funding program.

With funding announced in Budget 2021, the $50-million BC Major Anchor Attractions Program may offer up to $1 million per attraction through one-time grants.

Eligible expenses include payroll, rent and utility costs related to restarting or ramping up operations in preparation for gradual reopening in alignment with provincial health orders. The funding is available for not-for-profit organizations and businesses.

The application window will be open until June 7 with funds provided in July 2021.

Examples of criteria and eligible organizations include:

  • major anchor attractions in urban centres that receive 75,000 or more visitors per year – eligible for up to $1 million.
  • major anchor attractions in rural areas that receive 15,000 or more visitors per year – eligible for up to $500,000.
  • tour bus companies that serve 30,000 or more passengers per year – eligible for up to $500,000.
  • examples of “turnstile” attractions eligible for the program include amusement parks, wildlife parks, botanical gardens, heritage institutions, museums, galleries and science centres.

Learn more and apply.

2021 Canadian Wine & Beer Report

Restaurants Canada in collaboration with CGA Nielsen has gathered data on the current scope of the beer and wine sectors and consumer behaviour to produce the 2021 Canadian Wine & Beer Report

They’ve paired this in-depth review of the industry with insights and thought leadership from some of the major players and brands including Molson Canada, Waterloo Brewing, and Arterra Wine.

Download the free report.

ABLE BC 2021 Sponsorship Opportunities

It goes without saying the past year has been difficult and painful, particularly for our beleaguered hospitality industry. While there have been significant policy wins – including wholesale pricing for hospitality customers and keeping our industry open during the pandemic – COVID-19 has been devastating for our businesses, families, friends, as well as our society and the economy at large. 

While there is starting to be light on the horizon, ABLE BC is still fighting for our industry. We would not be able to do this work without the continued support of our members and industry partners. 

As an ABLE BC partner, you’re not just a financial supporter – you’re our partner, and we’re both in this for the long term. Learn more about 2021 partnership opportunities.

We have some new partnership opportunities available this year, including: monthly webinar sponsor and ‘Reopening BC’s Hospitality Industry’ quarterly speaker series sponsor. Plus: sponsorship opportunities at ABLE BC’s sixth BC Liquor Conference this fall.

Download our 2021 sponsorship package.

For more information or to take advantage of a sponsorship opportunity, please contact

Wine Australia Virtual Event for Private Retailers

Join Wine Australia’s Head of Education, Mark Davidson, for a 60-minute virtual education session and private training: History and Evolution: Australian Wine Today on Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 10:00 am PST.

Explore the vast history, quality, and diversity of Australian wine available in market today.

Register here.

BC youth 12+ can register, get vaccinated for COVID-19

More than 300,000 young people between 12 and 17 years old (born in 2009 or earlier) can now register and get vaccinated against COVID-19, as BC takes the next step to protect more people from the virus. 

Young people can register themselves and book their appointment:

Parents, guardians and trusted adults are also able to register and book for young people, with booking invites sent to those who are older first. Most vaccine appointments for young people age 12 to 17 years will take place at the same immunization clinics used to vaccinate people in other age groups.  

For more information, please click here.

Dining out has surged in many US metro areas

What are Americans making for dinner? Reservations. In states including Texas, Florida and Arizona, restaurant crowds are blowing past pre-pandemic numbers, the Washington Post reports.

With nearly half of all Americans at least partially vaccinated and 100 percent of Americans tired of their own cooking, restaurant traffic is rocketing back.

In some states, restaurant traffic has blown by pre-pandemic levels, prompting industry experts to draw parallels between now and the Roaring ‘20s, which followed the 1918 influenza pandemic, bringing boom times for restaurants and other parts of the hospitality industry.

The weather is getting better, vaccination numbers are rising and dining restrictions are slowly being lifted, all of which has helped to push the industry toward a surprising resurgence. The demand is also playing a role in shortages of restaurant workers across the country.

Read more.

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