Vancouver–Point Grey voters should never forget how Christy Clark mistreated the Rio Theatre

The B.C. Liberal government is spending large amounts of your money on advertisements claiming that it has a jobs plan for B.C.

But here in Vancouver, Premier Christy Clark is prepared to sacrifice 30 jobs at the Rio Theatre because of the province's archaic liquor regulations.

The owner of the Rio, Corinne Lea, has been told that because she has a liquor licence, she is not permitted to screen films at the cinema—even if Lea agrees to ban liquor sales when movies are shown.

Today, NDP MLA Jenny Kwan said at a news conference that this could easily be fixed if the cabinet would pass an order-in-council to allow the Rio to serve alcohol for events, and not allow booze sales when movies are being shown.

So why doesn't Clark—the queen of jobs—want to do this?

I would suggest it's because her own high-paying job is far more important to her than those of the cinema's employees.

B.C. Liberal trollers will no doubt fill the comment section below with denials after reading what's about to come. The reality is that Clark's B.C. Liberal party has to win a by-election in the middle of the province's Bible Belt in July.

If Gordon Campbell's cronies lose in Chilliwack-Hope, it will put Clark's political career in the Dumpster. And she might not be welcomed back as a highly paid talk-show host after flopping as premier.

So what does Chilliwack-Hope have to do with a movie theatre in East Vancouver?

The problem for Clark is that if she loosens the liquor rules at East Broadway and Commercial Drive, the holy rollers in the Fraser Valley will seize on this as evidence that the premier is another one of those godless secular humanists. And they'll be more likely to back the Conservative candidate, criminology professor John Martin, in Chilliwack-Hope.

Clark can't allow that to happen because it would lead to the death of the B.C. Liberals. So she is prepared to let an East Vancouver small business fry to keep her premiership on the front burner.

It's the same reason the B.C. Liberal government fought a futile court battle to retain ridiculously repressive new drinking-and-driving regulations, which turned police into the investigator, judge, and jury of the roadways. Bible thumpers in the Fraser Valley hate the demon rum—and B.C. Liberals are in no mood to piss them off.

The Georgia Straight has many readers who live in Vancouver–Point Grey, which is represented by Clark in the B.C. legislature. If most of these readers get out and vote against her in the May 2013 provincial election, they can end her career no matter what happens in Chilliwack-Hope.

It's the least Georgia Straight readers can do for an East Vancouver entrepreneur who is trying to bring more jobs and some cultural enjoyment to our community. Corinne Lea is not getting much help from the premier. Perhaps if Clark realizes there's a political price to be paid in her constituency, she might wise up and fix this situation, as Kwan has suggested.


Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

Comments (45) Add New Comment
Tom Dehlan
They also should also remember those 700 jobs the BC Liberals cut at BC Hydro. That's 700 more families devastated by Christy Clark. Jobs Plan? Eliminate Jobs Plan is more like it.
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Nico747
I'm a self-described centrist and can't help but feel that CC lies somewhere near the political spectrum as me. That being said, premier snooki is an embarrassment to our province. I am deeply ashamed for voting for these LIARS and won't be making that same mistake.



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Yes.
Holy.
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loblaw
Wow Charlie this very partisan. I guess no Jobs Plan adverts for the Straight.
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canadianveggie
Amen to that.
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Mark Fornataro
If the Bible-Belters in Chilliwack-Hope are impressed by the Liberals position on the Rio visa-a-vis alcohol regulations perhaps they need be reminded of Premier Clark's former boss. Gord. Campbell and his drunk driving conviction or the case of Liberal MLA Jane Thornwaite
http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/BC-Politics/2010/02/23/DrunkDrive/.
Then there's the issue of being able to have a beer at a sporting event.This treatment of the Rio seems very petty and hypocritical; perhaps the Rio workers should picket Clark's constituency office and/or the leg. at the most opportune time if necessary.
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Gentleman Jack
Now this is some top-quality journalism.
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Rachel Fox
Boom. Nicely done.

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Dude
Loblaw, this is in the "Commentary" section
That means Charlie is free to express his opinions on an issue. It's not a hard news story.

The Dude Abides, Charlie
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You
"The owner of the Rio, Corinne Lea, has been told that because she has a liquor licence, she is not permitted to screen films at the cinema—even if Lea agrees to ban liquor sales when movies are shown."

This aspect of the law is total bullshit, and that's all it comes down to.
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Simple
I suspect that even people out in Chilliwack have things to do, places to go? Do they really give a damn what happens to the Rio one way or another? I doubt it.
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Bruce
I'm no fan of the premier, but to suggest that the new drinking and driving regulations are a sop to social conservatives is innane. While these regulations need revision to ensure due process they are certainly saving lives -- an objective I suspect has broad appeal to all of us irrespective of whether we thump bibles in the valley or sip lattes in Kits.
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T-ow
While I agree that this law is the height of absurdity, this "Save the Rio" campaign leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It seems that the owner of the Rio is the one who put her employees at risk by, at best, deciding to put the theatre at risk in order to call attention to absurd legislation (which is her right, but I call it reckless), or, at worst, failing to read the criteria under which a liquor license would be issued to her venue.

I love the Rio. I love going to movies at the Rio. I think this law is ridiculous and should be changed.However, acting as though the Rio no longer being able to show movies is the BC Government's fault is ridiculous. It's the fault of the person who applied for the permit.
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The Rio Red Please
Doesn't Christy Clark enjoy a good drink on occasion? Last I knew, responsible adults could handle a couple glasses of wine or beer and choose not to drive home (Not to be mistaken for ex-Premiers who enjoy Hawaiian punch too much). The Rio's right by the Skytrain Station! So is Rogers Arena....except some people also drive home.....drunk? We're turning into the kindergarten of our country, where everyone gets talked down to. I want to watch some questionable cinema with a nice glass of Rio Red please. In Oregon they even serve it to you during the previews.
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Carter
The Rio is an excellent multi use venue. No riots after a movie or comedy or burlesque show..

now Sports fans.. (who are allowed to drink with children at canucks games) go out and riot in the streets of Vancouver (twice) and the LCBC does nothing to change those regulations... Christy Clark is a coward!! and so is Karen Ayers, Shirley Bond and the Rest of the Liberal hacks and beerocracks.

Hail to the chief! of the no fun province!
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Evil Eye
The provinces liquor laws need a complete overhaul with modern laws pertaining to liquor consumption.

What should be done is to get rid of the Liquor Control board ans sell off the LCB, then I would get rid of the LCB inspectors and leave all legal matters with liquor consumption up to local police forces.

It's time we actually jump from 19th century liquor laws to 21st century liquor laws.
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Pat Crowe
Yeah Christie, this is what the local riff raff lines up to do.
Swill beer and pick fights outside the Rio after watching an Ingrid Bergman festival.
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Just Wondering
Don 't expect anything from Clark but bullshit and you won't be disappointed. The HST is still here too, isn't it?
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GAM
30 employees? How the hell do you justify 30 employees for one screen?
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just sayin'
No conspiracy, just the cogs jammed with circular thinking bureaucrats and politicians. Also consider that a 'correction' in this license would result in outrage from the thousands of other venues that DON'T have a liquor license. Application of a one size fits all regulation would be 'unenforceable' (that would be their excuse anyway).

Generally true that the bible thumpers do vote. It's so ironic that they live in Chilliwack (where gangsters go to hide with mommy and daddy).
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