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The Gray Area In Liquor Licensing In B.C. Is To Shade Other Selected Areas Gray.

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October 31, 2013 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: DEO , STZ , TAP

Below are 3 articles about some liquor laws update in B.C.. If you have ever been In urban and suburban communities in the province of B.C. you have probably noticed the only places to purchase liquor is the provincial government liquor branches, provincial government licensed beer and wine stores, and provincial government licensed restaurant establishments.

From what I've read it seems the provincial government still will have a stranglehold on liquor distribution if allowing grocers to sell liquor by allowing a store within a store approach. This is simply allowing mega supermarket chains to rent space for existing provincial licensed beer and wine stores to operate within like what I've seen in B.C. examples is Walmart renting spaces to McDonald's, Safeway renting spaces to Starbucks some Esso gas stations renting shelf or table space for Tim Hortons products and etc.

In my opinion this is a recipe for hot and sour soup, because the independent grocers may form a alliance making a case argument that:

3) This is unfair competition that mega supermarket chains with abundance space is benefitting from collecting liquor profits via rent.

2) This is not level playing field that the provincial government is making it more convenient for shoppers to shop at mega supermarkets to make their one stop shopping there.

1) If independent grocers can succeed in forming an alliance against provincial government's idea of a store within a store approach and re-categorizing liquor as ingredients to cooking than alcohol beverages we may soon see liquor distributed in all grocers.

examples:

f) Food - any foods no matter how you slice it and dice it all foods has pairings with all liquors. 

e) Gas Stations - I'm sure British Columbians would love to get chips plus dips, stock up on microwavable food, get beer, get cigarettes, get sports action lottery tickets, and fill up before heading home where the man cave is located to watch sports. 

d) Delicatessen -  wine/beer pairings with cold cuts/cheese.  

c) Meats - spirits, wine, and beer base for marinades and flavoring all meats.

b) Produce and Vegetables - wine base to make vinaigrette for salads and some liquor used in cooking soups.

a) Ethnic Grocers - there was a time in B.C. you could go to Chinese grocers and buy cooking wine with 0% salt sodium content. When the government passed law that imported and domestically manufactured cooking wine had to have a certain percentage of salt sodium content (which is extremely high) made Chinese food very salty and those who consumed Chinese food easily exceeded their daily salt sodium intake(un-healthy level) for Chinese food cooking lovers.

 

B.C. considers supermarket wine, beer sales 'Store within a store' a possibility

By Tiffany Crawford, Vanews Canadaouver Sun October 30, 2013

Alcohol sales are commonplace in U.S. grocery stores, above. Mich. John Yap, right, parliamentary secretary for the B.C. Liquor Policy Review, says that the B.C. government will look at selling beer and wine at some retail stores, after a majority of residents said they were in favour of the idea .

Photograph by: Nick Brancaccio, Postmedia News Files, Vanews Canadaouver Sun

The B.C. government is looking to allow sales of beer and wine in grocery stores - but don't expect the super-cheap deals enjoyed by consumers in the U.S. and Alberta if the plan goes ahead.

John Yap, parliamentary secretary for the B.C. Liquor Policy Review, said the province likely will look at so-called "store within a store" models, like they have in Ontario.

That means the Liquor Distribution Branch - or currently licensed wine and beer retail stores - will be allowed to operate within a supermarket.

B.C. already allows independent grocery stores in rural areas to sell liquor, including spirits, beer, cider and wine.

Yap was at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday to speak about some of the more popular ideas he's heard from the public during his review process. The provincial government is now considering allowing the sale of alcohol in grocery stores, he said, after receiving overwhelming support for the idea.

He said 80 per cent of the comments during his 84 days of consultations supported selling alcohol at grocery stores.

"The idea of selling beer and wine, particularly in grocery stores, has been such a popular one that we are going to start exploring which models work for B.C.," said Yap, adding that the "store within a store" model could address concerns about whether minors would have easier access to alcohol if large grocery chains were allowed to sell the products.

Although many of the comments have been from residents who want retailers like Safeway or Costco to sell beer and wine, Yap said authorities are trying to strike a balance. "We recognize British Columbians want convenience and access that other jurisdictions have," he said. "But we also have heard that we need to take a cautionary approach to public safety and health."

British Columbians have until midnight on Thursday to comment, either by email, on a liquor policy review blog, or on Twitter using the hashtag "bcliquor."

The comments are expected to be included in Yap's report to the B.C. government on Nov. 25. Ian Baille, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees, was disappointed by Tuesday's announcement and said he is concerned about liquor store employees losing their jobs. He said 15,000 people work in private liquor stores across B.C. "If you had a (private) liquor store across the street from a grocery shop, how would the in-store impact the other? I don't know, but I'm saying why put (liquor kiosks) in grocery stores when you already have convenience? Why would the government want to put so many jobs at risk?" The Canadian Restaurant and Food Association has submitted eight recommendations to the review, saying that B.C.'s liquor control system is out of date and needlessly complex.

Among the suggestions are to allow "Happy Hour" and to introduce a flat tax on wine and spirits that would lower liquor prices in licensed premises by 15 to 20 per cent.

B.C. is the only province in Canada that doesn't allow licensees to change their prices during the course of a day, which means no Happy Hour, a popular concept in cities all over the world that allows bars and restaurants to offer cheaper drinks, usually in the late afternoon or early evening.

Yap said the concept of Happy Hour and the idea of open-bottle service - which allows patrons to pour their own wine at the table - have been raised, and both will be considered as the government makes its recommendations.

"I have not concluded on any specific recommendations, ruling something in or out, including (open-bottle service)," he said.

Other popular topics have included allowing craft beer and wine to be sold at farmers' markets, and allowing children to accompany parents into pubs and legions.

Vancouver police are concerned about relaxing liquor laws and allowing Happy Hour, which officers say will encourage binge drinking and could lead to more fighting and sex assaults. The VPD also has spoken out against the idea of open-bottle service.

Police say the number of liquor licensed seats in the Granville and Gastown entertainment districts has risen to 11,200 from 7,800 in 2008.

ticrawford@vancouversun.com With a file from Jenny Lee

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun  

 

BC considers grocery store liquor sales

30th October, 2013 by Rupert Millar  

The provincial government of British Columbia is apparently considering allowing alcohol sales in grocery stores but restrictions are likely to apply.

The move would bring BC into line with provinces such as neighbouring Alberta but it is unlikely that the review will allow sales to be as cheap as they are there.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the parliamentary secretary for the BC Liquor Policy Review, John Yap, is considering a  “store within a store” set-up, of the kind that already exists in Ontario.

This would allow already licensed liquor distributors to sell beer and wine – but no spirits – in supermarkets.

In rural areas of the province, local stores are already allowed to obtain liquor licences.

Yap said that during nearly three months of consultation, 80% of responses to the idea had been positive.

Vancouver is currently enjoying a craft brewing boom and brew pubs in popular locations such as Granville Island and Gastown have risen exponentially since 2008, the number of seats in licensed premises having grown from 7,800 to 11,200.

During a talk in downtown Vancouver earlier this week Yap said: “The idea of selling beer and wine, particularly in grocery stores has been such a popular one, that we are going to start exploring which models work for BC.”

Yap will submit a recommendation to the BC government on 25 November and citizens in the province are being encouraged to put forward their support and/or concerns to Yap’s department which remains open until Thursday of this week.

BC’s on-trade has also suggested that the province introduce a “Happy Hour” – BC is the only Canadian province not to allow it – as well as a flat tax on alcohol which would lower tax on beer, wine and spirits by 15% to 20% and allowing patrons to pour their own wine in restaurants.

Police in Vancouver have expressed concerns over the potential for an increase in binge drinking, fighting and sexual assault.

Earlier this year, the BC government announced major changes to existing liquor laws which allowed breweries and distilleries to sell their products on-site.

The current proposals and changes are part of a wholesale change to alcohol sales in the province that have been on-going since mid-2012.

 

B.C. to look at selling beer, wine at some grocery stores

By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun October 29, 2013

John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform appears at a press conference to announce that the B.C. government will look at selling beer and wine at some retail stores, after a majority of residents said they were in favour of the idea, in Vancouver, October 29, 2013. The Canadian Restaurant and Food Association has submitted eight recommendations to the review saying that B.C.s liquor control system is out of date and needlessly complex.Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

The B.C. government is looking to allow sales of beer and wine in grocery stores, but if the plan goes ahead, don’t expect super-cheap deals like consumers can get in the U.S. or Alberta.

Parliamentary secretary for the B.C. Liquor Policy Review John Yap said the province will likely look at so-called “store within a store” models such as what exists in Ontario.

That means the Liquor Distribution Branch or currently licensed wine and beer retail stores would be allowed to operate within a supermarket.

B.C. already allows independent grocery stores in rural areas to sell liquor, including spirits, beer, cider and wine.

Yap was at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday to speak about some of the more popular ideas he has heard from the public during his review process. He said the provincial government is considering selling alcohol in grocery stores after receiving overwhelming support for the idea.

He said 80 per cent of the comments during his 84 days of consultations have been in support of selling alcohol at grocery stores.

“The idea of selling beer and wine, particularly in grocery stores has been such a popular one, that we are going to start exploring which models work for B.C.,” said Yap, adding that the “store within a store” model could address concerns about whether minors would have easier access to alcohol if large grocery chains were allowed to sell the products.

Although many of the comments have been from residents who want retailers like Safeway or Costco to sell beer and wine, Yap said authorities are trying to strike a balance.

“We recognize British Columbians want convenience and access that other jurisdictions have,” he said. “But we also have heard that we need to take a cautionary approach to public safety and health.”

British Columbians can give their input until midnight on Thursday, either by email, leaving comments on a liquor policy review blog, or on Twitter using the hashtag “bcliquor.”

The comments are expected to be included in Yap’s report to the B.C. government on Nov. 25. Ian Baillie, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees, was disappointed by Tuesday’s announcement and said he is concerned about liquor store employees losing their jobs. He said 15,000 people work in private liquor stores across B.C.

“If you had a (private) liquor store across the street from a grocery shop, how would the in-store impact the other? I don’t know, but I’m saying why put (liquor kiosks) in grocery stores when you already have convenience. Why would the government want to put so many jobs at risk?”

The Canadian Restaurant and Food Association has submitted eight recommendations to the review, saying that B.C.’s liquor control system is out of date and needlessly complex.

Among the suggestions are to allow “Happy Hour” and introduce a flat-tax on wine and spirits that would lower liquor prices in licensed premises by 15 to 20 per cent.

B.C. is the only province in Canada that doesn’t allow licensees to change their prices during the course of a day, which means no Happy Hour, a popular concept in cities all over the world that allows bars and restaurants to offer cheaper drinks, usually around 5 p.m.

Yap said the concept of Happy Hour and the idea of open-bottle service — which allows patrons to pour their own wine at the table — have been raised, and both will be considered as the government makes its recommendations.

“I have not concluded on any specific recommendations, ruling something in or out, including (open-bottle service),” he said.

Other popular topics have included allowing craft beer and wine to be sold at farmer’s markets, and allowing children to accompany parents into pubs and legions.

Vancouver police are concerned about relaxing liquor laws and allowing Happy Hour, which officers say will encourage binge drinking and could lead to more fighting and sex assaults. The VPD has also spoken out against the idea of open-bottle service.

Police say the number of liquor-licensed seats in the Granville and Gastown entertainment districts has gone up to 11,200 from 7,800 in 2008.

ticrawford@vancouversun.com

with file from Jenny Lee

*

Summary of the CRFA recommendations:

1. Replace the current liquor tax structure with a flat tax mark-up for wine and spirits.

2. Introduce a 16-per-cent liquor wholesale price discount for all liquor licensees in B.C.

3. Stop dividing liquor licence applicants as “food primary” or “liquor primary,” as this no longer reflects today’s hospitality concepts. Instead, introduce a single licensing system with a risk-based assessment similar to those in Alberta and Ontario.

4. Give the provincial government control over granting licenses with input from municipalities, as in other provinces. In B.C., municipalities have control.

5. Allow licensees to buy alcohol directly from private retailers.

6. Allow licensees to transfer liquor inventory from one licensed location to another.

7. Allow use of liquor pre-mixing machines for items such as slushy drinks and Sangria.

8. Allow licensees to adjust their liquor prices during the day as long as prices remain above the required minimum.

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