B.C. Liberal government plans to privatize Liquor Distribution Branch warehouses

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      The Christy Clark government has announced that it wants to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch's two warehouses by 2015.

      According to a Ministry of Energy and Mines news release issued on budget day (February 21), the province will put out a request for proposals that would see the government-owned and operated warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops sold off to the private sector.

      "By privatizing the warehouses, the Province will realize a long-term capital gain, and create an opportunity for the private sector to find more efficient ways to distribute liquor in B.C.," the release states.

      The LDB also runs 197 government liquor stores, which are not part of the privatization plan.

      About 400 unionized staff work at the two LDB warehouses, which distribute about 55 percent of the liquor sold in B.C.

      Meanwhile, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, which represents the workers, says it was "shocked" to hear the news.

      In a news release today, the BCGEU claimed the 2012 budget shows the B.C. Liberals want to cut 2,000 public service jobs over the next three years.

      “Today's budget is going to further undermine important public services that people rely on, eliminate thousands of good jobs, and will drive up B.C.’s unemployment rate which is already the highest in western Canada,” Darryl Walker, president of the BCGEU, said in the release. “This province needs an economic vision that provides opportunities for our young people, services for families and seniors, and that begins to close the widening income gap we see everyday. This budget does none of these things.”

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      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:33pm

      Is there anything this government won't privatize? Seems they're selling every asset off. We don't have much left as they've done such a good job already fo selling everything. BC Ferries, BC Rail, BC Hydro, etc. etc....

      It's about time

      Feb 21, 2012 at 8:07pm

      This is good news..they should have gone further and privatized the retail stores too.

      Gill: BC Hydro and BC Ferries are still government owned.


      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:23pm

      This move will cost the people of BC more money. C. Clark will ding us again.


      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:45pm

      so...new plan, eh? 'Privatize' anything associated with the government that has unionized employees. Of course the government will save money in the short run (don't pretend any government in this country thinks beyond the next election...) because they can duck out of negotiating with their unions, meaning the new 'private' owners can dump the unionized workers and replace them with $6/hr labourers - or force the unionized workers to take drastic cuts. What's next? Privatizing health care? Education? Selling the legislative buildings? What the hell is it exactly that this government does any more? Can someone remind me?

      SPY vs SPY

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:26pm

      This is just the SOCRED Party way of doing things. When you are up to your necks in shit, sell a Government asset that is doing just fine. OH, and sell it to a friend of the Party for CHEAP.

      This actually constitutes Money Laundering.


      Feb 22, 2012 at 3:40am

      Mme Clark has been imbibing a bit TOO much... Selling off assets of a province where they MUST BE monitored is like giving Gord Campbell his old job back.

      Christy Clark, I have been and will always be a TRUE liberal (not the political definition - the REAL one!), what YOU are is a conservative in disguise - the VERY SAME as Campbell was!


      Feb 22, 2012 at 7:16am

      This Bullshit has got to stop. It is theft – pure and simple. BC taxpayers forked out to build the BCLCB and all assets belong to BC taxpayers. Through inaction we have allowed these so called ‘Liberals’ to sell our provincial railway system, (BC RAIL) and other assets. Where did the money go? I think we all know the answer.
      Privatization in Alberta has resulted in some of the highest liquor prices in the country. Like gasoline, Americans pay far less than we do for Canadian made wines and spirits. What’s that all about?
      If you are not already, get involved, join a political party, (it’s easy and costs 10-15 tax deductible bucks.) Don’t stop there either. Volunteer to help elect the party’s nominee and support the campaign financially, to the best of your ability.
      When only 55% of eligible voters turn out to vote it sends a message to the government that the rest don’t care. That means essentially, 45% don’t need to be worried about.
      Ms Clark is a smart cookie. She can see the writing on the wall and is looking toward being rewarded in the future for cooperating with big business today.
      Don’t let her get away with it.


      Feb 22, 2012 at 9:46am

      Sheesh! I was sort of just kidding about selling the Legislative Building! But I guess the parking lot IS for sale - so it can be 'redeveloped as a commercial property with underground parking'. Hmmm...let me guess. Disneyworld North? Hey kids! Minnie and Mickey are just next door! Or how about The Liberal Mall? Guaranteed not a union-made item to be found! Or maybe The Legislative Towers? Best luxury condominiums this side of China- complete with beautiful 19th Century private club next door (Sorry - no Canadians allowed).

      working man

      Feb 22, 2012 at 10:06am

      the selling off of the 2 warehouses accounts for less than 2% of the 706 million they are talking about which is a round 14 million dollars which i am pretty sure the government can spend in about 2 seconds. 14 million raise, not 706 million. All these headlines make it sound like selling the LDB would bring in tons of cash. It won't!


      Feb 22, 2012 at 10:13am

      GOT, we don't pay workers in BC $6.00/hr and haven't since 1993. The training wage would hardly apply to anyone employed in beverage alcohol and it has been gone since last year anyways.

      Check your facts before bleating....