NDP leader Carole James has promised to increase the minimum wage by 25 per cent -- freaking out pub and restaurant owners -- and hike wholesale prices for private liquor stores.
But private liquor store owner Al Arbuthnot thinks that's the whole point of the NDP strategy.
Kim Haakstad, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C] pointed out the NDP election platform makes no mention of increasing prices in unionized government liquor stores. "If they need to raise revenue from liquor, then they should raise prices across the board for everyone, not just pick on small, independent operators."
"This is all union-driven," said the owner of Fox's Reach pub and liquor store in Maple Ridge.Something tells me if the NDP wins, they'll be uncorking the champagne at the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union head office -- no matter what the price.
I would dismiss this as fear mongering but for the fact that Bob Rae, when he was Ontario Premier, almost destroyed the "you brew" industry with a series of damaging tax hikes aimed at taking the pressure off LCBOs.