I am involved with a few non-profit charities such as The Coquitlam Foundation and regularly attend their and other non-profits' fundraising events. These often include silent- and/or live-auction items of one or more bottles of wine or liquor. The Hospice Society's annual Treasurers of Christmas gala features a live auction of a "wall of wine," as I recall. And last week's PoCoMo Youth Services anniversary event featured a silent auction of an expensive bottle of Scotch Whiskey. But according to a new B.C. government press release (below), this popular fundraising device is currently illegal. I hope the government acts quickly to change the law.
|(photo by Terry O'Neill)|
For Immediate Release
2012EMNG0033-001649Oct. 26, 2012
and Minister Responsible for Liquor
Liquor laws clarified to help non-profit organizations
VICTORIA - Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Rich Coleman today confirmed the Province will take a "common sense" approach that will allow non-profit organizations to conduct fundraising using gift
baskets or similar items that have liquor as one of its components.
The law will be permanently clarified by legislative changes at a
The approach enables charities and non-profits to conduct certain
types of fundraising, such as auctions, using liquor provided it is a
part of a gift basket or an equivalent basket of goods. The liquor
must have been commercially produced and must not be consumed at the
Presently, B.C. law requires anyone who sells liquor to be licensed
and for the liquor sold under that licence to be purchased from the
Liquor Distribution Branch or another approved outlet, such as a B.C.
Charities that wish to fundraise using only liquor, without other
items as a primary component of a basket, will have to wait until new
legislation is in place. For those organizations, a special occasion
licence will continue to be required and the liquor will have to be
purchased through the Liquor Distribution Branch.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister
Responsible for Liquor -
"From time to time, we find outdated liquor policies that may have
been relevant at a particular time in history but don't work today.
Our goal is to get rid of these outdated liquor laws that
unnecessarily restrict British Columbians and to regulate alcohol
responsibly in the process."
The B.C. government is modernizing liquor laws in B.C. because many
federal and provincial liquor laws have been around since
Prohibition. Changes made since February include:
* Liquor in Theatres
- Provides flexibility to live-event venues and revises liquor laws
for movie theatres.
* Corkage - Bring Your Own Bottle
- Provides opportunities for restaurant customers that want to bring
their own wine into a licensed dining establishment.
* Penalties for Bootlegging
- Police and liquor inspectors now have the ability to issue $575
tickets to people found giving or serving liquor to anyone under the
age of 19.
* Personal Importation of Liquor into B.C.
- Allows B.C. residents to bring back an unlimited amount of 100 per
cent Canadian wine if it is for personal consumption and purchased
from a recognized winery in another province, or choose to have it
shipped from the winery directly to their home.
- Allows B.C. residents returning from another Canadian province to
bring back on-their-person up to nine litres of wine, three litres ofspirits, and a combined total of 25.6 litres of beer, cider or
coolers for personal consumption.
To learn more about the rules for liquor licensing in the British
Columbia, visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/LLinBC/index.htm
Media contacts:Cindy Stephenson
Liquor Control and Licensing250 952-5761
Energy, Mines and Natural Gas250 952-0617
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