Richmond MLA John Yap questions booze sales in grocery stores

The B.C. government's consultation on liquor reform has begun with a debate about allowing alcoholic beverage sales in grocery stores.

Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap is parliamentary secretary for liquor reform

The B.C. government’s consultation on liquor reform has begun with a debate about allowing alcoholic beverage sales in grocery stores.

“Washington state is the model I favour,” a Lower Mainland resident wrote Monday on the B.C. government’s new consultation website. “No government involvement in retailing – period. Just enforce the legal drinking age.”

The B.C. government’s point man on liquor reform, Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap, posted his own comments on the subject Monday. Yap warned that while opening up alcohol sales is a popular suggestion, “it certainly isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.”

Yap noted that beer, wine and spirits are already sold in rural grocery stores that are licensed because their service area isn’t big enough to warrant a government retail store. In urban areas, he questioned whether alcoholic beverages should be sold from convenience stores and gas stations, larger grocery stores, or big-box retailers.

“When this topic comes up in my meetings with health, safety and law-and-order advocates, the question will surely become that already we see 30 per cent of late-night attendees at a typical B.C. emergency department report alcohol consumption in the six hours prior to their injury or illness,” Yap said. “If we make it more available for the sake of convenience, will we see rates like this rise?”

The government is inviting public comments until Oct. 31 at the website. The site also lists submissions from health care, police and alcoholic beverage industry representatives.

The current review continues a remake of B.C. liquor policy that began in 2002, when cold beer and wine stores were allowed to sell spirits, and a 10-year moratorium on new private store licences was lifted.

When the consultation was launched in August, Yap said licenses for serving craft beer or local wine at farmers’ markets would be considered.

Pubs also want to allow under-aged children in with their parents for lunch, putting them on a level playing field with licensed restaurants.

————————————————————

Scenes like this one below are common in the United States, where beer, wine, and spirits are sold in many or most grocery or convenience stores. (Photo taken in New York City, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Beer sold in grocery store in United states

Just Posted

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Sooke swim team competes well at end-of-year meet

The Tyee Aquatic Club finished off 2017 strong, as multiple swimmers beat… Continue reading

Police in brief: Teens nabbed for pot smoking near Oak Bay cop shop

Yacht club thefts, fireworks found and wakeful arrest in Oak Bay this week

Police ticket driver after van found perched on logs near Esplanade in Oak Bay

Ticket issued for Drive Without Consideration with a fine of $196

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Cougars clipped by Bucs, remain tied for first in South

Victoria junior B puck squad neck and neck with Saanich

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Victoria hits the road after weekend wins over Kamloops

Western Hockey League club in Portland on Wednesday night

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Most Read