Public Affairs Update Header
February 3, 2014
In This Issue
Premier Clark considers delaying transit referendum
Province releases Liquor Review report
BCGEU ratifies five-year agreement under economic stability mandate
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in B.C.

Premier Clark considers delaying transit referendum

Last week, Premier Christy Clark announced that she was open to discussing the date of the pending transit infrastructure referendum in Metro Vancouver, which is currently scheduled to take place at the same time as this fall’s municipal election. Mayors in the lower mainland have been seeking more time to organize the region-wide referendum, particularly to inform constituents on a complex issue which has implications upwards of billions of dollars.


Clark has stated that the Province’s preference would be for the referendum to remain on the ballot during the municipal election, but is open to discussion with the region’s mayors. Currently, the government intends to introduce legislation in the spring that will confirm a region-wide referendum in the fall; however, the phrasing of the referendum question will be determined at a later date.


Province releases Liquor Review report

The BC Liquor Policy Review released its final report this week, and, in response, the government has announced full support for all 73 recommendations.


The final recommendations of the Liquor Review released today include:

  •  streamlining the application process for special occasions licences (SOLs);
  • allowing the sale of mixed-spirit drinks at public SOL events;
  • adjusting liquor policies regarding beer-gardens, largely affecting festivals and special events; and
  • extending room service hours in hotels and allowing guests to walk around freely with alcoholic beverages.

A number of the recommendations will require significant policy work and implementation planning that is expected to occur over the coming months.


BCGEU ratifies five-year agreement under economic stability mandate

Last week, Minister of Finance Mike de Jong announced that BCGEU members employed in the public service have a new five-year agreement.


The BCGEU, which represents approximately 25,000 members, ratified a master agreement under the provincial government’s economic stability mandate for 2014 negotiations.


The agreement provides for a 5.5 per cent wage increase over a five-year term, between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2019. Further, the agreement holds the potential for additional increases if the B.C. economy exceeds annual forecasts set by the Economic Forecast Council during the last four years of the agreement.


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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.