Monday, 30 April 2012

BC Liquor - Private Profits

So look at this in a simple way.
In BC, the government used to control all liquor sales in the province.
So if we, the BC Liquor Branch, (I say 'we' because it was something that we the taxpayers owned)  bought a case of whiskey or wine, shipped it into our own warehouses, distributed that booze to our own liquor stores, sold it to you the end buyer, then we as a government (read taxpayers) pocketed the profit dollars from that liquor, it was for the good of all the people of the province.

Say the wine cost a dollar a bottle. We built in all our costs, and sold the booze for a profit, say five dollars a bottle retail. If our costs of shipping, warehousing, merchandising and retail sales were one dollar, then our total cost for the bottle of wine was two dollars. After using two dollars of the five to buy the product and get it to you all over again, we made a nice net profit of one dollar. 20%.
That dollar profit went into the BC Government coffers. Which in most people's opinion, was a very beneficial enterprise. For all of us!

Now along comes Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell and he 'somehow'  decides that we need private liquor stores to sell this booze. Certain people from out of province were itching to get a share of our huge consumer market. Gordon is warned that the costs to the consumer must be higher through private-for-profit business, because every time the private store sells the same bottle of wine, they have to have a profit margin built into that sale. Not only that, but the taxpayer benefit of getting that dollar profit on every bottle sold in the province is now gone. Into the pocket of a privateer. All things being equal on the wine, the retail sale of that bottle of wine or whiskey seems to be about 10 to 30 percent higher now. All things equal except we now must build in a profit for the private seller.
Gordon Campbell did it anyway.

Now we have his protege, the BC Liberal Christy Clark, with her ex Gordon Campbell government following his intent; to further undermine the profits going into the government coffers in favor of more private dealers. So the Liberals have announced that: The Province will conduct a Request for Proposals to transfer the government-owned and operated liquor distribution branch warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops to the private sector by 2015. 

The current BC Christy Clark Liberal party intends to 'modernize' the BC Liquor Distribution Branch or could that be read as fulfilling a Gordon Campbell promise to 'someone'?
Before the selling out of the retail market to whomever, the BC Liquor branch was among the world's largest purchasers of beverage alcohol. That buying power is lessened by other profiteers entering our market.

So we have yet more groups greedily moving into the high profit areas of what we do ourselves in BC. Feeding on our rich cream instead of developing the needed services and operations in the province on a long term basis.
We've lost BC Rail as a developing factor throughout our interior communities. We've lost once trusted BC Hydro as the guardian of our public rivers and power production to privateers from out of province. These utilities were owned by the people of BC and therefore not the property of any government to destroy or sell as a result of poor fiscal management! And BC Ferries and other provincial operations are being compromised by outsider management.  By selling out our assets for quick cash, the BC Liberals have in some cases, eliminated the potential of enduring benefits in perpetuity.

We do need to be more simplistic, in that we have to look out for ourselves first, and suspect any action by the BC Liberals or anyone else that excludes the public-taxpayer-voter from participating in the rightful benefits and largess of British Columbia.

Political situations every four years should not be the basis of building the province over the long term. Any branch of government contributing to the betterment of the people of BC should be left alone to flourish without interference. Any potential of selling off a BC asset should be put to a provincial referendum.

Any meddling is immediately suspect of some nefarious action going on, making us think that 'someone' is up to 'something'. Why?


  1. Government has no business in operating a liquor business. Businesses are operated by risk takers, who put a considerable effort and financial resources to make available the best product to the consumers. At present, about 10 distributors out of a total of 400 distributors of foreign spirits supply 90 percent of imported spirits. The remainder can't even get their foot in the door of LDB and no matter how good their product is, it won't be 'listed'. These distributors have paid a large sum of money to get their distributor's licence which is pretty much useless. Since their products can't be listed, and therefore can't be sold in the BCLDB stores, only a handful who have connections to the Government are allowed to sell to the Government. To sell to the private stores is almost an impossible task because the step is made extremely difficult by the BCLDB who control every transaction including the markups of a private liquor store. For purposes of selection, variety, quality, and fair play, the Government needs to be out of that business like it has just happened in the State of Washington.

    1. hey anonymous ... tell us your real name . Christy ? gordon??

  2. Christy and Gordon


Keep it civil, folks, I know you're angry but try not to swear too much.