VICTORIA - To better meet the expectations of British Columbians, government has updated B.C.’s minimum drink prices.
When government introduced happy hours and minimum pricing in June, it said it was open to revisiting prices if they did not match consumers’ expectations.
Creating a new category for draught beer and cider servings 50 oz. and over - with a minimum price of $0.20 per oz. - better reflects not only the prices patrons expect to pay, but also the way draught beer is currently priced throughout the province. This sets B.C.’s minimum price for a standard pitcher (60 oz.) of beer or cider at $12.
With this reduction in the price of pitchers of draught beer, B.C. is also reverting back to a $3 per-ounce price for spirits, as announced originally. This will maintain a good balance between the price options British Columbians expect while still protecting health and public safety.
See this infographic for a table of B.C.’s updated minimum prices: https://www.flickr.com/gp/bcgovphotos/VaF49h
Pubs and restaurants serve draught beer and cider in a variety of sizes - generally, 9 oz., 16 oz. or 20 oz. glasses, or by the pitcher (approximately 60 oz.). If unsure, British Columbians are encouraged to ask establishments what their serving sizes are, so they can be sure of the per-ounce price they are paying and be better aware of the amount of alcohol they are consuming.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton -
“When we announced B.C.’s minimum prices, along with the introduction of happy hour, we were clear that we’d keep a close eye on how these prices impacted consumers and businesses. Creating a new category for draught beer in servings over 50 oz. is a fair balance for consumers that still takes into account the views of business owners and health and safety advocates.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform John Yap -
“The B.C. Liquor Policy Review has been centred on listening to the views of British Columbians and industry stakeholders, and best aligning any changes we make with their views. Upon reviewing B.C.’s minimum prices, we realized they weren’t on par with consumers’ expectations and we took action to find a fair compromise that still upholds B.C.’s high standards for health and safety.”
- As part of the terms of their licence, B.C.’s licensed establishments must have a drink list available to consumers that outlines their serving sizes.
- If consumers have concerns about the accuracy of serving sizes offered at an establishment in B.C., they can contact Industry Canada: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/home
- To date, 17 of the 73 recommendations from the B.C. Liquor Policy Review have been implemented. Government’s goal is to implement 70% of the 73 recommendations by spring 2015.
- The production, distribution and sale of B.C. liquors have significant economic benefits for the Province, contributing more than $1.1 billion annually to things like health and social programs.
B.C. Liquor Policy Review: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/liquorpolicyreview/
Government Communications & Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice