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CAMRA BC Update: February 2018

It may seem like not much has happened at the CAMRA BC level this year but the executive has been busy, plugging away. Some of our activities are of the dry, boring variety while others are quite exciting and pushing CAMRA’s advocacy mandate forward.

The Exciting: Pres Paddy and BC treasurer, Glen Stusek met with Attorney General David Eby and the Assistant Deputy Minister and General Manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Michelle Carr on Jan 10th, in Victoria, at the Parliament Buildings. CAMRA BC were able to rekindle the relationship between the NDP and CAMRA which had once been strong but had all but disappeared since 2013. Obviously, this relationship is even more critical now that the NDP hold office and the reigns of power. Various topics were discussed, (FUSS, greater access to growler fills among them) and this meeting led to Paddy connecting with the AG’s Liquor Policy Advisor, Mark Hicken on Jan 26th, via telephone. Mr Hicken has been tasked with canvassing the stakeholders of the liquor industry to develop a plan for a second round of BC liquor policy changes. It was a very positive and informative meeting which has now led to Paddy being invited to go to Vancouver Feb 2nd to meet with Mr Hicken in person to expand upon and explore the topics discussed during the telephone meeting. It appears CAMRA BC is being invited back to the stakeholder’s table and Paddy is pushing hard to ensure CAMRA BC and BC craft beer consumers have their voices heard. An expanded version of what was on the table during these discussions will be found in the upcoming issue of What’s Brewing.

Paddy also has connected with the BC Craft Brewer’s Guild Executive Director, Ken Beattie, to see if we can find some common ground to work together on to help better the situation for both the industry and consumers. At times the Guild and CAMRA BC are at odds, but not always and Ken and Paddy did have a good, positive chat.

The boring: It took some time for our executive to get their feet under them. There was a lot of administrative stuff to correct as things critical to the existence of CAMRA BC had not been attended to for a few years. All has been sorted, thanks to the hard work of Glen Stusek and Dave Garton. It has been time consuming. We are still waiting for some information to come back from the government related to our by-laws to see just exactly what is on the books. As well, all website hosting has been transferred to one server and is under CAMRA BC control, which may not sound like much, but we can now deal with issues, if and when they arise, ourselves which was posing some difficulties at times in the past.

Lastly, CAMRA BC AGM is set for March 17th, 2018 in Powell River at McKinney’s Pub. Notice of the AGM, with details of what to expect, will be coming out this week. It looks like most, if not all of the BC Executive are thinking about retiring so we need interested and dedicated people to step forward.

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