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.

 

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

Just Posted

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read