September 09, 2021

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

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

  • BC Vaccine Card Program Details Announced
  • Reminder: public orders currently in effect
  • ABLE BC Membership Renewals
  • ABLE BC’s 2021 COVID-19 Advocacy Report
  • Save the date: BC Liquor Conference on October 25, 2021
  • BC Hotel Association: Vancouver Island Live Industry Update Series
  • LDB Over-Shipments Process
  • Legal Realities and Risks of COVID-19
  • Brand Consolidation: Better together?

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

BC Vaccine Card Program Details Announced

On September 7, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new details about British Columbia’s vaccine card.

Read the government news release.

The vaccine card program begins on Monday, September 13 requiring proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter restaurants, movies, ticketed sporting events and many other non-essential venues.

As of October 24, those aged 12 and up will need to be fully vaccinated to access those same services and venues.

Failure to follow the PHO order may result in a fine. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022 and could be extended. 

List of Settings

Following is the complete list of settings where proof of vaccination will be required:

  • indoor ticketed sporting events
  • indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events
  • licensed restaurants and those offering table service (indoor and outdoor dining)
  • pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and outdoor dining)
  • night clubs, casinos, movie theatres
  • fitness centres/gyms/adult sports (indoor)
  • indoor group exercise activities
  • organized indoor events with 50 or more people (e.g., wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences, workshops)
  • discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities

Examples of place that do not require proof of vaccination:

  • Grocery stores, liquor stores, and pharmacies
  • Unlicensed restaurants that do not offer table service, like fast food, coffee shops, and takeout
  • Salons, hairdressers, barbers
  • Hotels, resorts, cabins, and campsites, unless it is a setting or event covered by the PHO order. For example: a licensed hotel restaurant, fitness centre, wedding reception, or conference.

You do not have to check proof of vaccination at indoor organized events with less than 50 people, except adult sports.

Verifying BC Proof of Vaccination

  1. You have 2 options to verify proof of vaccination. The most secure option is using the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app to scan customer’s QR code. You can also verify proof visually.
  2. After verifying proof of vaccination, you must also review ID. By reviewing ID, you match the name listed on the BC Vaccine Card or other form of proof of vaccination with the person you’re verifying. You don’t need to check ID for youth aged 12 to 18. 

The use of the BC Vaccine Card will be phased in to allow people extra time to transition to their new cards. 

From September 13-26, 2021, people will also be able to use the vaccination records they received at BC vaccine clinics or pharmacies as valid proof of vaccination. Starting September 27, 2021, only the BC Vaccine Card will be accepted for people vaccinated in BC.

For more information, please click here or read ABLE BC’s update from September 7.

Resources for Businesses

The provincial government has set up a new webpage with resources for businesses on the BC Vaccine Card.

Visit the webpage for: 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are staff required to be vaccinated? 

  • Government has not announced anything about requiring to staff to be vaccinated nor have we heard anything. Though ABLE BC has recommended that your house policy require vaccinations. Here’s an article we published with some tips on how to do it, and why it’s more complicated than it seems.

Do I have to check customer’s proof of vaccination at the door? 

  • You can check at the door or at the table. An operator must not serve a patron who has not provided the operator with proof of having received at least one dose of vaccine.

These questions and more are answered on the BC government website and BC Vaccine Card Guide for Businesses.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:

Reminder: public orders currently in effect

The following public orders are currently in effect: 

Province-wide orders:

We are still in Step 3 of the Restart Plan; the province has not moved ahead to Step 4 as previously planned. 

Regional public orders:

You can find all public orders here.

ABLE BC Membership Renewals

ABLE BC’s 2021 membership renewals have now been sent out to all members. If you haven’t received your renewal package or have questions about your membership, please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications):

Join ABLE BC: If you are not yet a member and are in a position to join, we would appreciate your support now more than ever. Sign-up for your membership online or contact Danielle for more information. Monthly payment plans available.

We are turning a corner in the fight against COVID-19, but the hard reality is that most members are only just now beginning the long and difficult road to recovery.

Supporting you during the COVID-19 crisis: 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 year, we’ve helped ensure that liquor retail was declared an “essential service,” secured permanent wholesale pricing for hospitality customers, allowed liquor retailers to sell to Special Event Permits, amended countless public health orders for your benefit, pushed for direct industry financial support, coordinated urgent and immediate policy changes to keep BC’s liquor and food primaries afloat, and more. In total, we have been directly responsible for securing nearly $200 million of direct financial support for your businesses.

Download our 2021 COVID-19 Advocacy Report to learn more about the work we’ve done on your behalf.

We have a long road of recovery ahead, but ABLE BC is not going anywhere. No matter what happens next, please know we will always be in your corner, fighting on your behalf. But to continue our work, we need your support – now more than ever.

We know many businesses have been dramatically impacted by this crisis; your 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.

Click here for instructions on how to pay your invoice. If you have any other questions or concerns, or require a payment plan for your business please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications):

Thank you for your ongoing support!

ABLE BC’s 2021 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.

Our 2021 COVID-19 Advocacy Report outlines the work we’ve done on your behalf over the past 18 months. Download report.

In the months ahead, we’ll continue to have your back until our industry fully recovers. To that end, please don’t hesitate to contact ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard directly at to discuss our efforts on your behalf. 

Read ABLE BC’s 2021 COVID-19 Advocacy Report.

Save the date: BC Liquor Conference on October 25, 2021

ABLE BC’s annual BC Liquor Conference is back for a sixth year: Monday, October 25, 2021. A portion of the tickets will be available to attend in person and the remaining will be available for virtual attendance. No matter where you are in the province – tune in and get the liquor industry data, trends, and policy updates you can’t get anywhere else.

Registration opens soon! Stay tuned for more details.

BC Hotel Association: Vancouver Island Live Industry Update Series

The BC Hotel Association is hosting a series of live industry updates geared to accommodators across Vancouver Island.

During these free sessions, hear directly from the BCHA team and have the opportunity to share your own perspectives and priorities, as we shift to pandemic recovery.

The sessions will be tailored to each region and include: updates on provincial and federal advocacy efforts, information on emerging issues and ways to mitigate risk, tools and resources available to members, recovery strategies, and more.

TOFINO: register here

  • Tuesday, October 5 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Wickanninnish Conference Hall at the Best Western Plus Tin Wis (1119 Pacific Rim Hwy)

COURTENAY: register here

  • Wednesday, October 6, 2021 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Ballroom at Crown Isle Resort (399 Clubhouse Drive)

PARKSVILLE: register here

  • Wednesday, October 6 from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Grand Moriarty Conference Room at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre (1155 Resort Drive)

NANAIMO: register here

  • Thursday, October 7 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Opera & Harbour Rooms at Best Western Dorchester (70 Church Street)

Please register by Wednesday, September 29.

LDB Over-Shipments Process

In response to member inquiries, we wanted remind you of the LDB’s over-shipments process. 

Since 2017, when the Wholesale Customer Centre return guidelines were updated with feedback from customers, Bill of Ladings must be signed, for both over and short shipments.

This can be reviewed on page 48 of the WCC Order Handbook

Recently, it was found that the LDB needed to retrain some of their Customer Service Representatives who were not following the guidelines correctly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC or LDB Wholesale.

Legal Realities and Risks of COVID-19

As commercial hosts gradually return to full service in accordance with Provincial Health Orders (PHOs), it is important to remain aware of the legal risks hosts still face concerning COVID-19. 

Venues that breach PHOs may of course face fines and enforcement actions. But any establishment that opens its doors to customers during the pandemic also opens its doors to a small but real risk of being sued for negligence, if someone connected with the premises falls ill with COVID-19. 

Read more about the legal realities and risks of COVID-19 in this Quarterly Pour article by Lorne Folick (Dolden Wallace Folick LLP).

Brand Consolidation: Better together?

A guest sitting at the bar trying to decide what to drink might be dazzled by the dozens and dozens of brands to choose from. But the truth is, that choice is a lot smaller than it seems, and getting smaller all the time, thanks to global brand consolidation. 

Around 2014 to 2016, the world’s liquor brands went on a shopping spree. By the time Suntory had bought Jim Beam, Southern Wine & Spirits merged with Glazers, and Diageo had scooped up just about everything else, only a handful of major players were left in the market, including Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, and Brown Forman. 

“It’s ongoing, it’s continuous,” says Chris Funnell, who is currently the BC wine sales manager for the distribution company Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits of Canada, but formerly repped its spirit brands. Just in the past year or so, Diageo bought trendy upstart Aviation gin and Labatt snapped up Delta-based Goodridge & Williams, which makes industry juggernaut Nütrl vodka soda. That said, Funnell adds, “There hasn’t really been a big move in the last couple of years. But we’ll see how things open back up.” 

Question is, has all this consolidation made things better or worse for BC’s pubs and private retailers? A little of both. 

Read more about brand consolidation in this Quarterly Pour article by Joanne Sasvari.

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