Hey there, Mr. Mayor!
I know you’re incredibly busy, so I’ll try to keep this fairly brief.
I am not writing this post from the standpoint of someone who habitually votes for you and the Vision Vancouver party (though I do,) nor am I writing this as someone who happily consumes a few gallons of various Happy Planet Juices each year (the Abundant-C is my favourite. What’s yours?)
I’m writing this as a Vancouver enthusiast and as a local wine-industry professional who works with hotels, restaurants, wine stores and does many events and seminars with the general public. From my East Van Wine Academy educational events at The Waldorf Hotel to my various capacities with the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, to my Westender column and beyond, I take much pride in being able to contribute to the city’s culture in my own little way.
I’d taken note of the Tweet you’d sent out the other day and had one of those “a-ha” moments.
Now, I totally agree with you and Councillor Deal regarding our ridiculous provincial liquor laws, with the Rio Theatre‘s fresh liquor-primary license allowing live events but not movie screenings (seriously, what’s up with that?) – it’s incredibly encouraging to see the City flexing a little muscle to support small business and common sense. I commend you for also initiating the #UpdateLiquorLaws hashtag. Good one!
So here’s what I’m thinking:
I don’t have to tell you about the incredible hypocrisy and confounding logic behind many of our current provincial liquor laws. And I realize that we’re not going to reinvent the wheel in one fell swoop; but if there’s an opportunity to call on the Province to re-open those dusty old books- may I remind you of a few other current regulations that hurt small business, stifle Vancouver’s quality of life and prevent us from being on par with the majority of other great cities of the world:
Sir, I absolutely empathise with the Rio’s plight. The laws are absurd. I am encouraged to see City Council step up to the Province and make some noise about this. My four points above are just the first four things that popped into my head that hurt small business and embarrass our city on a regular basis.
I haven’t even gotten into the two-week turnaround time for licensees to receive ordered product from the BCLDB warehouse in Richmond (and that it’s illegal for licensees or agents to go there,) the 123% import tax that makes wine and alcohol more expensive here than almost every other jurisdiction in North America, that BYO in restaurants is illegal, and many other things that makes Vancouver lag behind.
All of these out-of date liquor laws hurt business and hurt our city. We are not keeping up with global colleagues because of this. Small business struggles. Big business struggles.
The problems and issues are not limited to the Rio Theatre. I hate to say it but they are a drop in the bucket and indicative of a larger problem. There are countless other businesses that suffer just as much as them, if not more.
We have tried so hard, time after time, to deal with the Province on this, only to be shunned, turned away and bullied.
On your party’s website there is a quote from you that reads, “We need your support to keep Vancouver moving forward.“
Sir, myself and a host of others affected by these Prohibition-era laws are eager to work with you toward a better future for Vancouver. You have had our continued support.
May we have yours?
I’d love to hear from you.