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 woman charged after allegedly racking up $10,000 in loans using stolen identity

A 32-year-old Langford woman faces theft, fraud, and impersonation charges

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Saanich safety upgrades, bike lane extension on Finnerty Road near completion

Raised instersection and sidewalks part of safety improvements near UVic

Head of Vancouver Island Regional Library system calls Sidney’s claims ‘problematic’

Rosemary Bonanno says the Library Act gives Sidney an ‘exit strategy’

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

Most Read