Almost every brand of beer now costs more in B.C.

Plus, gambling on LNG and betting beside BC Place 

Crying in our beer
Back in March, B.C. Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton assured beer drinkers that Red Racer IPA would fall 12.6 per cent in price as a result of the provincial government’s liquor reforms. She was way off, according to figures released today by the provincial NDP. A six-pack of Surrey’s Red Racer IPA has actually increased 2.04 per cent in price from $11.26 in March to $11.49 in June. The NDP’s comparison of beer prices shows 219 beer products increased between one and two per cent, 123 between five and 10 per cent and 74 by more than 10 per cent. Just 19 beers stayed the same price; eight per cent, mainly from outside B.C., like Budweiser and Coors Light, decreased slightly.

Lagging LNG
The B.C. government may also have to rethink its plans to have three LNG projects up and running by 2020. LNG prices are down, supply is plentiful, and Asia is turning to cheap coal instead, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (PDF). Because of low oil prices, companies are cutting capital expenditures, and LNG projects are easy targets because they are capital-intensive and have long lead times.

Fun and gaming 
Construction has started on a new home for Vancouver’s controversial Edgewater Casino. Called Parq, the $600-million project by Parq Holdings Limited Partnership is B.C.’s largest private development. The “entertainment resort” will include Vancouver’s largest hotel convention facility with nearly 62,000 square feet of meeting, conference and special event space, Vancouver’s largest ballroom and B.C.’s first JW Marriott hotel. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Edgewater Casino opened in 2005 at the Plaza of Nations, went into bankruptcy within a year and was purchased by Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming. Despite opposition from community groups, anti-gambling advocates, retired police officers and the City of Vancouver itself, city council eventually voted in April 2011 to allow Paragon to move the casino next to BC Place Stadium. Parq Holdings Limited Partnership is a joint venture between Paragon Development Ltd., Dundee Corporation and PBC VUR Limited Partnership.