Victoria waits for B.C.’s Happy Hour

The pending introduction of happy hour at B.C. bars and restaurants is being met with cautious optimism by one Victoria councillor

Daniel Palmer

News staff

The pending introduction of happy hour at B.C. bars and restaurants is being met with cautious optimism by one Victoria councillor.

Premier Christy Clark last week announced the province will relax provincial liquor laws to create happy hour, which allows liquor licence holders to reduce alcohol prices during a specified time period.

But the devil will be in the details as to how those changes are rolled out, said Coun. Chris Coleman.

“I think the policy works in terms of getting people in, but the question is then what distress it creates on police resources,” Coleman said. “It could be subject to some abuse, or it could be run in a very community minded way. I think what the province is trying to get to is get to more of a European model that’s seen as more progressive.”

B.C. introduced minimum retail liquor prices to help curb binge drinking and impaired driving problems in 2002. The roughly 10 per cent boost in alcohol prices resulted in a substantial decrease in alcohol-attributed deaths, according to work done by the Centre for Addictions Research of B.C. at the University of Victoria.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall has also advocated for an annual adjustment of minimum drink prices to adjust for inflation, but Clark hasn’t yet weighed in on specific price points.

The province also intends to make its Serving it Right liquor training mandatory for all servers in licensed restaurants, as well as staff at B.C. Liquor Stores and rural agency and wine stores. Licensees, managers, sales and serving staff “should also be required to recertify,” according to a government news release.

Last week Clark and Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap, who led the public consultation on liquor law reform, announced that regulations would be eased for winery tasting rooms. Farm markets will also be allowed to offer samples and sales of locally made beer, wine and spirits.

Minors will also be allowed in some liquor primary establishments under the new rules.

A full report on liquor law reform is expected in February.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Reynolds Secondary School’s spring musical Freaky Friday features Grace Fouracre as teen Ellie Blake (left) who swaps bodies with her overworked mother, Katherine, played by Nadia Lurie. (Photo courtesy Reynolds Secondary School)
Saanich high school goes virtual with Freaky Friday musical

Reynolds Secondary theatre program to livestream performances March 9-12

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Ronald Schinners, owner of The Cabbie in the #YYJ, opened his taxi service in the West Shore last month. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
‘One man show,’ The Cabbie in the #YYJ cultivates 45,000 followers on Instagram

New taxi company brings unusual spunk to the West Shore

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

The biggest risk to the Island's economy post-earthquake is that it may never return, according to Bruce Williams, interim CEO of the South Island Prosperity Partnership. (Contributed by Bruce Williams)
Greater Victoria businesses in chamber spotlight for 2021 awards

Annual awards program highlights local companies making the most of things, despite the pandemic

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read