Government should halt LDB privatization in face of widespread opposition

VANCOUVER, July 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The BCGEU is renewing its call for the government to cancel the Request for Proposals to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch warehouse and distribution system.

The government is scheduled to announce a short list of between one and three bidders tomorrow.

"About 25,000 people have already signed the petition opposing the privatization of the LDB," says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "When we tell people there was no public consultation, no business case has been presented and that prices will increase for consumers, they are more than happy to add their name."

The opposition to the privatization is broad based and includes the media, brewers, distillers, bar and restaurant owners, local government and the general public.

Quesnel, North Vancouver, New Westminster and Burnaby have already passed motions opposing the privatization and other local governments are likely to express their opposition if the RFP proceeds.

"It's clear there is very little support for this privatization except from the bidders who want the profits from operating a private monopoly distributing beer, wine and spirits in our province," says Walker. "It makes absolutely no sense to sell off this important, revenue producing public agency. Instead of selling it off to the private sector, we should open public stores on Sundays, expand shopping hours and add a few more public liquor stores. We should expand the LDB, not fracture it and start selling off the pieces. "

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information:

Evan Stewart BCGEU Communications (604) 220-3095

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B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

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