CALJ as an organization was formed in 1942 to provide senior officers of liquor jurisdictions an opportunity to meet with Federal Government officials on excise issues, and to discuss alcohol strengths, bottle sizes, and accounting controls.
Over the years the liquor boards used the opportunity to discuss operating issues, meeting with the Trade Associations on alcohol policy issues, meeting with health care groups on social responsibility topics and developing a programme for the sharing of beverage alcohol sales data.
During the 1960’s The Association hired an Executive Director to manage the affairs of the Association and to develop the exchange of sales data programme. There were two Executive directors until the early 80's when the sale of data programme was transferred to the Association of Canadian Distillers.
Currently, CALJ meets twice a year, usually in February and June (The Association of Liquor Licensing Authorities of Canada, ALAC, meet at the same time) to review issues of mutual interest and to hear from the trade regarding industry trends nationally and internationally and more recently the impact of industry consolidation. Discussions have also focused on changes to the Federal Excise Act, illegal alcohol (smuggling and illegal manufacturing) privatization trends, trends in the Canadian wine industry, movement of alcohol products in Canada and social responsibility initiatives.
During their tenure the President, who rotates annually, will host the winter and summer meetings and represent the Association at international meetings and meetings with the Federal government. CALJ Directors voted to hold the winter meetings in Quebec and Ontario respectively, for ease of travel. The summer meeting is held in the host jurisdiction.
At the June 2000 meeting the directors decided that as a result of many requests from outside groups for information on the Canadian jurisdictions, for representation at various national and international meetings, to co-ordinate Association meetings and activities, to hire a part time Executive Director. The Executive Director was also mandated to assist with planning for the summer and winter meetings.
At the 2001 June meeting the Executive Director was given the mandate to develop an operating budget and to prorate the budget among the jurisdictions based on population.
With regard to social responsibility initiatives, CALJ at its June 2000 meeting mandated the jurisdictions to meet and review various programs and to determine the feasibility of implementing an annual national programme. Representatives of most jurisdictions met in Montreal in October 2000 to discuss the issues and plan for a national programme on a yearly basis.
With regards to the social responsibility committee the directors decided that the chair position would rotate annually according t the jurisdiction hosting the meeting. The committee implemented a national programme in 2001 aimed at under age drinking. The committee met again in the fall of 2001 and developed a national programme for 2002 focusing on issues related to responsible hosting. In 2004 the committee met in PEI and is planning a programme aimed at the responsible use of off-road vehicles during 2005 - 06. (Personal watercraft, Snowmobiles and ATV’s)
CALJ has three other sub committees: Quality Assurance, Technical & Excise, and the Association of Liquor Jurisdictions Administrative Officers Operational and Administrative Sub-Committees (OASC). These groups usually meet once a year and recommendations are forwarded to CALJ for decision and direction.