If youre a fan of lower prices, increased convenience, better product selection and improved customer service, you might want to keep the champagne on ice---at least when it comes to BCs liquor industry. Despite all the recent talk of the BC government privatizing the Liquor Distribution Branch [LDB], its not happening. Not even close. And that is unfortunate for regular British Columbians who enjoy a cold beer, a glass of wine or a sex on the beach every now and then.
Privatizing B.C. government liquor distribution and liquor stores would provide huge benefits to consumers
With her demand that either Alberta or Ottawa ante up more cash before the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline can proceed through parts of British Columbia, BC Premier Christy Clark is playing a risky and ill-advised game of economic chicken. But before getting into details of that, consider Clarks five demands, some of which are reasonable, if occasionally superfluous.
As we approach what would have been the 100th birthday of Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, I am reminded of his common sense thinking. There is no such thing as a free lunch, he once famously remarked. The same could be said of Premier Christy Clarks Family Day, the statutory holiday that will come into effect just a few months before British Columbians go to the polls in 2013. Someone will have to foot bill. And unfortunately, it will be the very people the holiday is supposed to help: ordinary BC families.
Anyone who recently visited Alberta for the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede might have noticed something unusual about the province: not a single government liquor store.
Alberta does have a plethora of private stores, unlike say, Ontario, where I once drove around Cambridge for what seemed forever to find any shop, government or private, to buy wine for a dinner with relatives.
If youre lucky, your politicians will one day imitate Alberta. To that end, heres how Albertas private sector model came about.
The 1990s was an economically dismal decade for British Columbia. The province effectively missed the prosperity party enjoyed by the rest of Canada due largely to poor economic policies. As a result, the province actually became a have-not province and a recipient of federal equalization payments.
We witnessed young, educated and skilled British Columbians leave the province for opportunities elsewhere and BC had the lowest per person GDP growth among the provinces between 1990 and 2000.