Episode 2: Dan Coles on Liquor Law and Regulatory Reform / by Glen Jameson

Liquor law is crazy stuff. It defines relationships between nations (US-Canada during 18th Amendment America) and people themselves (the City of Montreal itself voted for prohibition - which lasted for mere months - whereas PEI stuck with it from WW1 until 1948). Legislation has often had more to do with religio- and socio-cultural values than good public policy surrounding safety, certainty, jobs, and good government. Because of the wide-ranging interests behind liquor law, people pay attention when a government thinks about making changes. As we learned in O Brother Where Art Thou, "People like that re-form. Maybe we should get us some."

Enter British Columbia. In 2013, BC - a province with no shortage of wacky historical liquor legislation - decided to do some of that re-form. Or at least some consulting. BC MLA John Yap was tasked with consulting with British Columbians. Two years and some remarkable consulting later, The Yap Report has been adopted and as changes are being implemented, one can't help but think that the regulatory landscape looks at once similar to before, but different.

Joining us on Welcome to the Food Court this month is Dan Coles, a litigator and specialist in liquor law from Owen Bird Law Corporation in Vancouver, to talk about the reform process and how it has affected British Columbians. Dan spends an incredible amount of time writing and speaking about liquor issues - check out his website BCLiquorLaw.com or his twitter handle @liquorandthelaw.