Protect public B.C. asset from privateers

Dear editor,

Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government was quoted in the Vancouver Sun on July 12.

Dear editor,

Margaret MacDiarmid, minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government was quoted in the Vancouver Sun on July 12 as follows:

“As I have said before with respect to the distribution and warehousing of liquor if we don’t find that there are savings for taxpayers, if it is not a good deal for British Columbians, we simply won’t be going ahead with this.”

After expressing my concerns about privatization to Rich Coleman, minister of Energy and Mines and minister responsible for housing, I received this reply telling me something different:

“In order to proceed, government must be satisfied that British Columbia taxpayers will benefit from having a private sector service provider warehouse and distribute liquor in the province.”

There is plenty of room here for chicanery in the guise of good business practice; what “satisfies” the government often appears driven by other motives than the public good.

Semantics aside, I would like MacDiarmid’s assurance that the plan to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch will be abandoned if they do not find that there are savings for taxpayers.

I don’t mean saving a few minutes in a parking lot or the odd nickel on a bottle of wine, or the short-sighted economy of selling off public assets without a business plan and without consulting the industry or the public.

I especially don’t want to hear that relinquishing the current profitability of LDB is somehow a good deal for the citizens who own it.

As Minister of Labour, MacDiarmid would likely be troubled most by the downgrade of LDB employees to minimum-wage, part-time work and consequent damage to the B.C. economy; but as she has expressed a concern for taxpayers, I would like to know that her government will protect this public asset from private profiteers.

Anne Bauman,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

“Of Bears at Fridges, drinking Planes and Cinderella’s Shoe” is Jordis Trumby’s first children’s book. Photo supplied.
Courtenay author writes, illustrates first children’s book

When is a collaboration not a collaboration? At first glance, Courtenay author… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Residential lawn and garden watering with a sprinkler is not permitted during Stage 3 water restrictions. File photo
Stage 3 restrictions apply to Comox Valley Water System during pipe repair

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 from March… Continue reading

Most Read