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

Castlegar applies for grant for next phase of Columbia Ave repairs

Phase 2 will cover Columbia Avenue from 20th Street to 24th Street

Selkirk College students protest proposed tuition increases

Sudents’ union says this year’s 2 per cent increase puts education out of reach for some

Castlegar business owners report highest optimism in 3 years

Two-thirds of survey participants report business security or growth

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read