More government liquor stores may sell cold beer and wine

Latest policy reform idea from province rankles private store owners

A review of liquor policy is underway in B.C. that could trigger further reforms.

Another liquor policy reform being eyed by the province would allow more government liquor stores to sell cold beer and wine, which has long been the domain of private stores.

Ten government stores already sell some refrigerated products but the province will now test the waters for a major expansion.

Walk-in beer and wine “cold rooms” will open at the end of September at three stores in Burnaby, Duncan and Salmon Arm.

That’s the first stage of a pilot project that will add four more walk-in beer and wine refrigeration coolers at existing stores in Oliver, Osoyoos, Mill Bay and Grand Forks later in the fall.

The province wants feedback on the idea as part of its already-launched Liquor Policy Review, along with several other proposals for reform.

The concept may be in for a rough ride from the organization representing private liquor stores.

The Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C. called the move a surprise and said it would throw private outlets and government stores into more direct competition.

John Yap, the parliamentary secretary for the liquor policy review, said all other Canadian provinces offer refrigeration in most, if not all, of their government liquor stores.

“This is another area where we think B.C. is lagging behind other jurisdictions,” Yap said.

“Refrigeration units seem to be very popular with customers, but the public and industry will now have the opportunity to give us feedback on whether this is something they would like to see on a larger scale around the province.”

Other potential reforms being explored include licensing farmers’ markets and spas to serve alcohol and letting under-aged children have lunch at a pub with their parents during the day.

Public consultations run until Oct. 31 and a website for comments is to launch next month.

Don’t expect booze to get cheaper under any future reforms. The province aims to at least maintain if not increase its revenue.

Just Posted

Langford firefighters help rescue tranquilized bear from a tree near city hall

Residents have been reporting on social media that a bear was recently seen in the area

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read