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B.C. taking public input on changing liquor laws

A screengrab from the B.C. Government's liquor policy review website, where the public can share ideas on changes to liquor laws.

The B.C. government has launched a new website inviting the public to offer ideas on changes to liquor laws.

Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform John Yap introduced the site Saturday while touring a brewery and said people can get involved through blog discussions, Twitter chats and feedback forms.

He said the province is changing liquor laws on the use and sale of beer, wine and spirits to improve customer service and grow the economy while ensuring public health and safety.

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The website features a look at the history of liquor in B.C. since the 1800s, including prohibition in 1917, the licensing of the province's first winery in 1923 to make loganberry wine and changes to laws this year.

Several meetings including various groups have been held this month in Victoria to discuss reforms to B.C. liquor laws.

They include the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, the Victoria Police Department and the Vancouver Island Helath Authority.

Yap is meeting with more groups through to October.

Input will be gathered on the website until the consultation process ends on Oct. 31, and a final report will be presented to Attorney General Suzanne Anton by Nov. 25.

"Our government has been hearing from industry and stakeholders about changes they would like made to B.C.'s liquor laws," Anton said in a news release. "This is the first review to take place in over a decade and the time is now to also hear from British Columbians."

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