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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke’s DeMamiel Creek project cost reduced by $200,000

Municipal staff lauded for coming up with savings, without compromising project

Light the City takes root in Greater Victoria as pandemic cancels holiday favourite parade, convoy

Five weeks of drive-thru events fill void of IEOA annual Truck Light Convoy, Santa Claus Parade

Oak Bay High head shave lives on despite COVID-19

Students hustle money for Tour de Rock under constraints of pandemic

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Most Read