B.C. considers booze in grocery stores

Public 'loud and clear' but considering 'store within a store' with separate staff to sell booze, MLA John Yap says

People want the convenience of buying alcoholic beverages in grocery stores

The B.C. government’s liquor policy review has heard a ‘loud and clear’ message that people want the convenience of buying alcoholic beverages in grocery stores, says the MLA in charge of the review.

With a three-month consultation period ending Oct. 31, Richmond Steveston MLA John Yap said Tuesday that about 80 per cent of respondents want the extra convenience that is routine in U.S. grocery stores.

But Yap is proposing a less convenient model, a “store within a store” that would have separate staff for alcohol purchases. He said the number of outlets could be restricted to the current level, with some existing private or public liquor stores moved into grocery stores.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has announced a similar pilot project, with 10 “express” stores to offer limited selection inside or next to grocery stores. Nova Scotia also has government liquor stores located in grocery stores.

When the B.C. consultation began in September, Yap noted that beer, wine and spirits are already sold in rural grocery stores. He was critical of the U.S. model, saying it could lead to increased health, safety and law enforcement problems from increased consumption.

B.C.’s medical health officers have called for a freeze or reduction to the number of private retailers, a $3 minimum price for bar drinks and higher prices for drinks with more alcohol content to deter over-consumption.

The Alliance of Beverage Licencees, representing pubs, bars and private liquor stores in B.C., isn’t happy with the idea. ABLE BC executive director Ian Baillie said the province already has more than 1,400 government and private liquor stores.

“The government also needs to consider what the impact of allowing large grocery chains to sell liquor will be on the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of income that are provided by the current system,” Baillie said.

 

Just Posted

No apologies for telling the hard stories

Community news platforms must be more than a community calendar

Coroner’s inquest announced for Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Time to get tough on derelict boat owners

Hefty fines and penalties may make people think twice

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

Iconic attraction will move from Nanoose Bay to Galey Farms in Saanich

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Most Read