Town supports Legion’s application for liquor licence amendment

Town supports Legion’s application for liquor licence amendment

Council is reccommending the LCRB approve the Legion’s application for a Liquor Primary Licence

If all goes to plan the Legion could be getting the thumbs up from the Province to sell alcohol to non-members.

On Aug. 29 the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #63 submitted an application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) asking to amend their current Liquor Primary Club License to a Liquor Primary License.

At its Nov. 12 meeting council voted unanimously to put their support behind that letter and recommend to the LCRB the Legion’s application to transition to a Liquor Primary Licence be approved.

Council also resolved to endorse a resolution highlighting their reasons for support.

READ MORE: Legion looking to amend its liquor licence

In a letter to Smithers Town Council, Legion president Steve Purnell said the decision to apply for the amendment comes down to membership numbers.

“As a service group, we are struggling with membership, as are most service groups,” wrote Purnell. “We believe this is the right move for us and, hopefully, will improve membership and community attendance.”

The Legion is not proposing a change to their regular hours in the application.

Instead, the change would allow them to serve alcohol to non-members without them being there as a guest of a member.

It would also change rules surrounding how the Legion can advertise.

“This change would allow us to operate as any other establishment, without the need for a sign-in book, or the need to do all advertising with, ‘Members and Guests Welcome’.”

In a report to the Town the Smithers, the RCMP detachment noted they didn’t see any issues with the Town supporting the application.

“My understanding is several branches of the Royal Canadian Legion are struggling to operate as a result of their historic membership rules,” noted Sgt. Darren Durnin. “While I can appreciate why those rules were put in place, I can appreciate the limitation it puts on a club with a dwindling membership.”

“Historically the Legion has never had any direct impact on service delivery for Smithers Detachment,” Durnin continued. “The nature of the atmosphere at the Legion is likely to attract a more mature clientele base, and not a nightclub-like atmosphere. Like any Liquor Primary, with proper management and adherence to the [Liquor Control and Licencing Act], along with a responsible, community-conscious management group, I do not foresee any meaningful change to calls for service, as a result of a change in licence status.”

READ MORE: Legion seeks people for poppy routes

The Town supported the above RCMP report, as well as the fact the proposed subject property use is permitted principal use under its C-1A zone and the use is compatible with those of neighbouring properties.

“A transition to a Liquor Primary Licence has the potential to add to the atmosphere of the downtown,” the resolution noted.

During a public hearing period the only person who spoke to the issue, former councillor Phil Brienesse, noted he supports the amendment, but hopes the Town looks at their policy for issuing tax exemptions to establishments like the Legion which are being given more freedom to operate without restriction in a business sense.

“When you guys come back around to your permissive tax exemptions I notice that list keeps getting longer and longer and longer,” said Brienesse

“[The Legion is] one of the organizations that is on that list as well as a number of other organizations that conduct themselves in a business-like manner in order to raise their funds.”

Brienesse said he hopes the Town will consider the implications come tax exempt status time next year.

“[I] really think you need to start considering how operating a non-profit as a business competes with other businesses.”

The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit organization for Canadian ex-service members.

It was founded in 1925.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Town supports Legion’s application for liquor licence amendment

Just Posted

(BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro planned power outages to darken downtown Smithers for most of day Sunday, Jan 17

Replacement of poles will affect approximately 250 customers in downtown core from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

The first of two massive turbines headed from Prince Rupert for the Site C Dam near Fort St. John on Jan 10. (Photo: Supplied by Tasha McKenzie)
Massive turbines begin trek across Northwestern B.C.

Hydro-Electric turbines headed from Prince Rupert to Site C Dam week of Jan. 10 to 14

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

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

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read