New panel to improve efficiency in government and private liquor business interactions

The Government of British Columbia has formed a panel of liquor industry representatives to provide recommendations (technical legal or policy reform) related to B.C.’s private liquor businesses’ interactions with government.

The Business Technical Advisory Panel will be chaired by Mark Hicken, who was appointed by government in late 2017 as liquor policy adviser. The panel will advise on possible law and policy reforms that improve efficiencies and outcomes for business and government, in terms of how government responsibilities, regulations and oversight interact with B.C.’s private liquor businesses.

“We have established this panel to review B.C.’s liquor policies, engage with key industry representatives and present government with clear policy recommendations that will allow us to better support this important industry,” said Attorney General David Eby. “I expect the panel’s recommendations this spring and will consider them carefully with my colleagues across government.”

As part of its work, the panel will consult with industry stakeholders, including manufacturing, retail and hospitality representatives. The chair of the panel will also engage with health experts and labour organizations.

Technical policy and legislation recommendations from business will be coupled with additional stakeholder consultation work undertaken by government directly to develop possible law and policy reform in the province.

The panel’s aim is to develop technical legal and policy reform recommendations that are evidence-based and targeted to improving efficiency in government and business interactions. The panel’s recommendations must represent a consensus amongst the panellists, ensure compliance with existing trade obligations, treat stakeholders equitably and consider health, social and financial impacts.

Panel members will be drawn from the BC Wine Institute, BC Craft Brewers Guild, Canada’s National Brewers, Craft Distillers Guild of BC, Restaurants Canada, BC Restaurants and Foodservices Association, Alliance of Beverage Licensees, and Rural Agency Store Advisory Society.

Learn More:

The liquor policy advisor’s work plan, the panel’s terms of reference, and stakeholder submissions can be found at: