Monday, May 04, 2009

Booze in the News

"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems." - Homer J Simpson

This article is a response to an article run in thetyee.ca - Liberals, Liquor and Who's Really Getting Soaked. Showing a complete lack of respect for the average voter, the private liquor industry in BC is trying spook voters by stating that beer will go up by $3.00 if the NDP take power. This isn't the first time that people have tried to use booze as a way to win/sway an election. Back when Bill Vander Zalm (with the right wing Social Credit) was running, one of the few promises he did make was to lower the price of beer. When he became premier the price of beer actually went up - but that would never come back to haunt him.
Now we have the private liquor stores and the companies that own them are well connected into the BC Liberal Party. Some hailed private stores as a great step for free enterprise and competition in an area that has been too long under a government monopoly.
Take the liquor store for the North Burnaby Inn as an example. The NBI was initially a BC owned operation. It was competitive with the government LDB stores, paid its employees $12.00 an hour and had great selection. (particularly its wine selection) When the Liquor Barn moved in from Alberta, the NBI was one of the stores it purchased. Liquor Barn cut the wage back to $8.00 an hour, they slashed selection and dramatically increased the prices in a very short space of time. One bottle of wine my Dad used to buy shot up over $4.00 a bottle withing a month - that's four dollars over the LDB. So much for competition. And frankly, the NBI is a totally different place to walk into. The place is dingy compared to what it was before. It is like their is no pride in this operation, just another booze depot to cater to people's vices and addictions rather than a respectable establishment providing people with something enjoyable. And it does show in the employees faces. Before the Liquor Barn cut the hell out of the store, they were polite, friendly - but for a measly $8.00 an hour, why bother?
Then there was how the Liberals had arranged for LDB renovations during holiday seasons. Stocks were reduced, gift sets were cut in half and suddenly available at the private stores. Coincidence? No, just a bunch of idealogues and people invested in their own greed shafting people all over for their own ideals and or pocket books.
One of many scandals being under reported and materfully spun by the majority of BC news outlets. But the fears of the private liquor industryand their pet-in-the-pocket politicians are just another signal of a province and whole sector of society unwilling to do confront the problems faced by British Columbia. They just want line their pockets and to hell with you and everyone you know.


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