British Columbians support Sunday openings, expanded hours and new public liquor stores

VANCOUVER, July 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The BCGEU today released an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll showing high levels of support for the expansion of government operated liquor store services. Public support was strong regardless of gender, age, income, education or geographic location of the respondent.

The poll found:

  • 74 per cent of British Columbians support Sunday openings of public liquor stores;
  • 72 per cent of British Columbians support extending shopping hours at public liquor stores;
  • 64 per cent support opening new public liquor stores as a way to generate more government revenue.

"Government stores offer lower prices, better selection, good customer service, convenience and better wages in communities all across the province. They are also a reliable source of government revenue for public services," says Darryl Walker, BCGEU President.  The 2012/13 provincial budget has $906 million in net revenue from the Liquor Distribution Branch.

The government operates 197 liquor stores around the province. Only 22 of them are open on Sundays. Opening the remaining stores on Sundays would generate up to $100 million in new annual revenue. Each new store could generate up to $5 million in new provincial revenue each year.

"Sunday openings make sense. There is simply no business case to justify having 175 public liquor stores closed each and every Sunday," says Walker. "We pay the lease, the hydro, all the overhead but keep the stores closed on Sundays. It does not make sense."

Reviewing Ontario government operations, Don Drummond, former Chief Economist with the TD Bank recommended opening new Liquor Control Board of Ontario public stores and using the LCBO's purchasing power to create new government revenue. The same approach should be taken in B.C.

Methodology: From July 10 to July 12, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 796 randomly selected British Columbia adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of British Columbia.


SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information:

Evan Stewart BCGEU Communications (604) 220-3095.

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