While grocery stores consider offering a selection of B.C. wines, local governments wonder if they can control liquor sales in the community.
In Oak Bay, staff will bring back a short report on the pertaining bylaws after Mayor Nils Jensen came across the issue through his role on the Union of B.C. Municipalities executive.
Changes to the province’s liquor policy to take effect by summer include licensing B.C. wine and beer sales and tastings at farmers’ markets, permitting “happy hour” drinks at licensed businesses and removing the requirement for fenced beer gardens at approved outdoor festivals.
The new framework opened a small number of new licences for Vintners’ Quality Alliance wine sales form grocery store shelves with future expansion to include B.C.-made craft beer under the same licence.
Endorsing ‘low-cost’ Games
Council committed to backing a “friendly, low-cost Games” during its meeting Monday night.
Oak Bay backs the bid for Greater Victoria to serve as backup community to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
With Durban, South Africa as the only bidder for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Oak Bay resident and prominent businessman David Black (owner of Oak Bay News’ parent company Black Press) sought to have the region serve as backup, should Durban be unable or unwilling to proceed with its bid. Victoria hosted the Games in 1994.
Mayor Nils Jensen emphasized the plan is to simply offer a “friendly, low-cost Games” as a backup.
Jensen will sign his name to a letter showing that support.
Inter-municipal climate action
Coun. Hazel Braithwaite will represent Oak Bay on the Inter-Municipal Climate Action Steering Committee for the remainder of the 2015 – 2018 council term. The Climate Action Program reports quarterly through the CRD Environmental Sustainability Committee. It serves as an additional reporting and feedback mechanism for elected officials in the region and consists of one elected representative of each municipality as well as three electoral area directors.
Council supports for UBCM report
Oak Bay will support the conclusions and suggestions of the UBCM’s “First Nation Property Tax, Services and Economic Development in British Columbia” report.
“It’s good and quality thinking, and the comprehensive analysis of the report suggests it’s a good path to follow,” said Braithwate, who was tasked with reviewing the 37-page report.
UBCM was seeking local government feedback to inform the organization’s response to the report along with its level of engagement regarding the policy issues and the relationship with the First Nation Tax Commission.