VANCOUVER – Andrew Wilkinson announced steps that a BC Liberal government would immediately take under his leadership to help small businesses seize opportunity and create new jobs throughout British Columbia.
“Setting up, running, and growing a business shouldn’t be as tough as it is here in B.C., and under the NDP it’s already getting harder,” said Andrew. “They’re increasing regulations on business and making it more difficult to invest in our great province. The NDP wants to make it harder to succeed in B.C., and that’s simply wrong-headed. A government under my leadership would aim to make B.C. the best place in the world to do business.”
Under Andrew Wilkinson’s leadership a BC Liberal government will take the following actions to support the private sector, promote consumer choice, create jobs and bring prosperity to families across B.C.:
Sell government-owned liquor stores
Government does not need to be in the business of owning and operating liquor stores. Today, there are hundreds of private liquor stores responsibly operating across our province. A Wilkinson government will sell the government stores currently in operation, with current employees being given the first option to purchase the store they work in.
As we move towards full privatization, we will take steps to ensure fairness, such as the ability to sell to restaurants, thereby levelling the playing field between the government and private liquor store operators.
“Restaurateurs have long supported the ability to purchase liquor from private liquor stores as these retailers would offer restaurateurs more customized product selection at better prices than the Liquor Distribution Branch offers,” said Mark von Schellwitz of Restaurants Canada. “This would be a step in the right direction towards restaurants receiving wholesale pricing."
“This is the type of practical and meaningful policy our members have been requesting for years; finally someone has listened,” said Jeff Guignard, Executive Director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees BC. “In one fell swoop, we could dramatically increase selection for customers while reducing costs for small businesses.”
Recreate the Ministry of Small Business with a focus on helping entrepreneurs to create more small businesses throughout British Columbia
Under a Wilkinson government, B.C. will re-create the Ministry of Small Business and return government’s focus to the creation of new small businesses in our province. Government will set up a dedicated concierge service for small business creation with the goal of having a business created in 72 hours from start to finish.
Eliminate the small business income tax on family businesses
Once new small businesses are created we want to make sure they can stay in business. A Wilkinson government will completely abolish the small business income tax for family businesses other than regulated professions.
"I have a family-owned business in Prince George and applaud Andrew Wilkinson for taking a strong stance to support small businesses across B.C.,” said Ken McIntosh, retired owner and business advisor, KJM Sales. “The tax measures Andrew is promising mean my kids will have a greater chance of passing our business legacy along to my grandkids."
Guarantee additional investment attraction effort in the USA
Investors need to understand the benefits of investing in B.C. before they begin their decision-making processes. A Wilkinson government will guarantee that additional investment attraction effort goes into major American cities and targets U.S. companies looking to invest outside of the United States, by making investment attraction a priority for all relevant ministries.
Keep government out of the marijuana business
A Wilkinson government will stay out of marijuana retail sales, but will ensure that anyone licensed to sell marijuana has met stringent criminal and financial background checks before opening their business.
With respect to medical marijuana, this government would ensure that all sales meet pharmacy standards to ensure patients understand the full effects of the drug they are taking, and receive a pure and reliable product—as is done with any other medication.
Increase regulatory transparency for investors and the public
Companies doing business in British Columbia accept that we take pride in our natural environment and that we have high standards when it comes to environmental protection. They just want transparency and timely decisions when it comes to these regulations.
A Wilkinson government will simplify and streamline the rules and regulations we have in place to protect our province. Andrew Wilkinson’s goal is to build the most transparent regulatory jurisdiction in the world, in order to ensure everyone understands our regulations and that the rules are applied in a timely way.
“An essential way to secure long lasting prosperity for British Columbia is to make sure government is small, streamlined, and not taking the place of the private sector,” said Andrew. “My plan unleashes the power of the private sector, saves people money, and ensures choice for British Columbians by encouraging competition and getting government out of certain parts of our economy.”