B.C. Civil Liberties Association weighs in on liquor licensing debate
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is calling for change to provincial rules that prohibit people from drinking alcohol while watching films at licensed venues.
Earlier in February, the B.C. government responded to a public outcry over the ban on movie theatres serving liquor by relaxing the regulations.
With the change, licensed venues that host live events are now able to screen films outside the hours they are permitted to sell alcohol.
However, the BCCLA today (February 20) urged the B.C. government to take more action to address problems with the liquor regulations.
BCCLA president Robert Holmes outlined concerns about the restrictions in an open letter to Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for liquor.
Holmes challenged the apparent rationale for the restrictions—concern about youth having access to alcohol in a darkened theatre.
He questioned why—at licensed events where admission is adults-only—alcohol should be banned because of the type of entertainment offered.
“The singling out of movies for this bizarre rule that seems to have no logical connection to its intended purpose appears to promote certain types of entertainment over others as government policy,” the letter reads.
“One would assume, for example, that the government would be seeking to promote cultural film screenings.”
The BCCLA urged the government to further update the rules so people can choose their drink and entertainment “without government interference”.