July 13, 2013 5:48 am
Updated: July 13, 2013 5:50 pm

B.C. launches ‘aggressive’ agenda to modernize liquor laws

British Columbia is looking at overhauling their liquor laws.

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A study is underway in B.C. to look at broadening and modernizing the province’s outdated liquor laws.

The study will look at a variety of issues surrounding liquor, including whether people should be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages to beaches and parks, according to attorney general Suzanne Anton.

Anton said the BC Liberals have an aggressive agenda to immediately update the laws.

The topic of B.C.’s liquor laws has been a hot topic in recent years, as some businesses have struggled to stay afloat amid restrictions.

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But changes are gradually being made to what some call the city’s “arcane” liquor laws.

Last year, the provincial government made it legal to bring your own wine to restaurants, sell alcohol in theatres without minors present and allow caterers to acquire liquor licences.

Additionally, Mayor Gregor Robertson said he plans to extend restaurant patio hours in the city, which currently end at 11 p.m.

Robertson also wants to expand patio space to make better use of sidewalks and streets downtown.

However, while some people welcome the changes to liquor laws, Anton said concerns over parties, noise and disruptions are legitimate.

“I know many British Columbians have strong feelings towards, one way or another, and it’s critical that our government hears those points of view as we move forward in this process,” Anton said.

The new attorney general said she hears more opinions about alcohol than anything else and encourages the public to weigh in on the liquor review, which will be the first one to be done in B.C. since 1999.

We asked British Columbians whether they want alcohol allowed on beaches and parks. The issue sparked debate online.

With files from the Canadian Press

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