July 4, 2014 12:00 pm

#UnhappyHour in B.C.: Some bars forced to raise prices

Not all of the changes as a result of the long-awaited provincial liquor policy are being met with enthusiasm.

Adam Chatburn of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC says while they are pleased to see Happy Hour introduced, the minimum pricing requirements are forcing many bar owners to raise their prices.

“The minimum prices for beer have increased beer prices overall,” says Chatburn. “Now prices are starting to go up, instead of coming down.”

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Under the new laws, the minimum price for a pint is $5. Many bars were already charging less than $5 for a pint, and now have to raise their prices to comply with the law.

The price of pitchers of beer is also going up, to a minimum of $15 to $16 to comply with the new law. It means the minimum prices for beer by ounce are now the most expensive in Canada.

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Chatburn says the minimum drink prices are affecting smaller pubs and legions the most, as they usually have more heavily discounted drink prices.

WATCH: Adam Chatburn tells Global News about the #UnhappyHour campaign

Rural communities are also being hit hard as prices are generally less expensive than the major cities.

“The hardest hit will be people in rural communities, who will see the price of their beer increase,” says Chatburn.

He says the minimum pricing was enacted to ensure pubs would not be selling beers for .25 cents or 1 dollar, but $5 for a pint goes too far.

Chatburn says that the government is not listening enough to consumers.

“They are having lots of meetings with industry and health care scaremongers, but not with consumers who at the end of the day, this is supposed to be a benefit for.”

WATCH: Minister responsible for liquor reform, John Yap, on the Morning News

© Shaw Media, 2014

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