Sponsors: City of Fort St. John
Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships
WHEREAS the abuse of alcohol places a burden on society and is a contributing factor to homelessness;
AND WHEREAS dealing with the effects of alcohol abuse places an undue strain on a local government tax base:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM request the Province of BC to allocate 5% of the existing revenue received from the sale of liquor sold through rural agency stores, licensed retail stores and government liquor stores and that these funds be directed to the Local Government in which the outlet is located and be used to support local drug and alcohol awareness and prevention programs for youth and adults.
The UBCM Membership endorsed resolution 2004-B111 as amended, which called on the Provincial Government to direct 5% of the existing tax revenue received from the sale of liquor sold through rural agency stores, licensed retail stores and government liquor stores to the local government in which the outlet is located, with the funds to be utilized to fund homeless and homeless-at-risk shelters and detox facilities.
The Provincial Government did not respond directly to the resolution’s request for specific allocation of a portion of the liquor tax to fund homeless and homeless-at-risk shelters and detox facilities. Instead, the Province expressed favour for a multi-pronged and comprehensive approach to address homelessness, mental health and addictions and highlighted its Safer Communities Initiative, an $84-million federal-provincial-local partnership to find solutions to these problems.
UBCM would point out that local government has historically resisted being directly involved in the delivery of social services, and has argued in the past that social services were a provincial responsibility which should be funded through provincial tax dollars.