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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Chevron’s move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

New report into sawmill explosions released

The report recommends streamlining investigative process

No parole for 12 years for Burns Lake man convicted of second degree murder

Judge said he did not believe Albert Giesbrecht’s claim his gun discharged accidentally

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Most Read