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

Snapshot: Cap and gown in the time of COVID-19

Eagle River Secondary did what they could to keep highscool graduation as normal as possible.

Fallen tree and fire to blame for Shuswap power outage

BC Hydro restored the outage in about an hour.

Boating Safety Week a chance to take stock of hazards on Shuswap Lake

Submerged logs, cold water and intoxicated captains are all safety concerns

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

Most Read