President responds to Van Sun LDB editorial

January 19, 2007

Jan. 18, 2007

Letter to the Editor
Vancouver Sun
#1-200 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
V6C 3N3

Dear Editor,

It’s unfortunate that Vancouver Sun editorialists continue to advocate for privatization — in this case privatization of liquor sales — even when the facts contradict your arguments.

Your main justification for privatizing all government liquor stores (Victoria has to stop playing both sides, Jan. 18) is the claim that prices are cheaper in Alberta.  You make reference to a study, but fail to acknowledge that it was a fast and dirty survey by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (another staunch privatization supporter) which is now five years old.

But more current and comprehensive research shows the opposite:  prices on average are cheaper in B.C. public liquor stores.  And thanks to our coordinated public system,  B.C. residents—especially in rural areas and small towns—have access to significantly more products than Albertans.

Victoria’s latest move to increase the discount rate for private retailers is an outrageous giveaway of taxpayers’ money.  It means that since 2004, $90 million of government revenue that could have gone to reduce hospital waitlists, improve our education system or provide a modest increase in welfare rates will instead have been diverted to private liquor interests.

Yours,

George Heyman
President,
B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union

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