VANCOUVER, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The BCGEU today launched a new website
in its public awareness campaign opposing the privatization of the
Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) warehouse and distribution service.
The website, DontDropPublicLiquor.ca, explains the merits of the LDB system that has served British
Columbians for decades. It also explains BCGEU proposals to increase
LDB revenues to help pay for public services.
"It makes no sense to sell-off this important, revenue generating,
public asset," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "In the last five
years, the liquor distribution and retail system contributed $4.3
billion to help pay for public services such as health care, education
and highways. Next year alone, it will generate more than $900 million
for public services."
The government has presented no business case for the sell-off of the
LDB. There was no public consultation on the privatization of the LDB
and none is planned.
"The mix of rural agency stores, privately operated neighbourhood stores
and government liquor stores with consistent province-wide prices, all
supported by central distribution, works well for consumers," says
Walker. "The LDB system should not be fractured."
In his review of government operations in Ontario, Don Drummond, former
Chief Economist with the TD Bank, rejected the sell-off of the Liquor
Control Board of Ontario. Instead, he called for the opening of
additional public liquor stores and the full utilization of the LCBO's
purchasing power to improve profits and create additional revenue. The
BCGEU is calling on the provincial government to take the same approach
Also opposing the privatization of the LDB are private liquor store
owners and some small brewers who say the sell-off will lead to higher
prices for consumers.
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
visit DontDropPublicLiquor.ca or call Evan Stewart, BCGEU Communications (604) 220-3095.