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BC Government Considering Sale of Liquor in Grocery Stores


DonLever

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Still no concensus on how to sell liquor in BC

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Shane Woodford

October 29, 2013 10:53 pm

wine-pouring.jpg

As the province floats the idea of allowing alcohol sales in grocery stores as part of a review of its liquor policy the debate on both sides of the issue is heating up. Alliance of Beverage Licensees Executive Director Ian Baillie says alcohol in grocery stores threatens jobs, and investment from private industry..not to mention availability issues. “It is certainly access and access that minors have to alcohol. There is a public safety concern here.”

However Doctor Tim Stockwell with the Centre for Addictions Research says Liberal MLA John Yap, who is leading the liquor review, seems to be taking health and harm worries seriously.

“He has stipulated that there would not be an increase in the number of outlets, which is very important.”

Stockwell says an increase in outlets translates to increases in alcohol related deaths and hospital admissions

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The B.C. government is one step closer to permitting liquor sales in provincial grocery stores.

According to the government, 80 per cent of people who have responded to the current liquor policy review were in favour of the idea. Today it announced it would examine allowing those sales as part of a wide range of changes to liberalize liquor distribution in the province.

Several other Canadian provinces currently allow some form of liquor sales in grocery stores, including Quebec, where grocery stores can sell domestic and imported beer and Quebec-bottled wine, and Nova Scotia, where provincial liquor authorities have opened government liquor stores within grocery stores.

The recommendation on grocery store liquor sales is one of several expected in the final report, which John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform, will deliver to Justice Minister Suzanne Anton on Nov. 25.

"I've heard strong support for liquor sales in grocery stores and the added convenience it would afford B.C. families," said John Yap, Liberal MLA for Richmond-Steveston and Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform John, in a written statement.

"There's no doubt this would be a big shift in our province — so we will be taking a thoughtful approach and carefully considering which model could work best for B.C., while taking into account all the concerns we've heard about the dangers of increased access to minors. We must also balance health and public safety with any improvement to convenience, should we proceed in this direction," Yap said.

The government won't consider allowing supermarkets to apply for licenses to sell booze, however. Instead, it will examine a model where existing licensees, like private and government stores, move their operations inside a supermarket.

And any changes are still a ways off, with the government expected to debate the recommendations in the spring, when the legislature resumes sitting.

Public input is being accepted on the proposal until Oct. 31

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Leave it as is.

Did they think about self serve checkouts? What is stopping a minor from doing that and then getting the store in trouble?

Also hate to see it end up like the states where you can buy it at any corner store. More trouble.

With the liquor stores you can control it better versus untrained grocery store workers, hell you can be a cashier at 16.

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Leave it as is.

Did they think about self serve checkouts? What is stopping a minor from doing that and then getting the store in trouble?

Also hate to see it end up like the states where you can buy it at any corner store. More trouble.

With the liquor stores you can control it better versus untrained grocery store workers, hell you can be a cashier at 16.

In the States, if you scan liquor at the self checkouts, the transaction is stopped until the attendant verifies your ID.

What's stopping the 16-year old untrained grocery store clerk from selling alcohol, when the same clerk is handling tobacco products? Has reading the DOB been such a challenging job that only 18 year olds can do that nowadays?

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I don't know why they think this is such a huge deal :lol:

I hate the whole "danger to minors" argument though. Every kid that wants booze just gets somebody older to buy it for them anyways, putting booze in grocery stores isn't going to make that any more prevalent.

If anything the whole separation only increases the perception among youth that puts alcohol on such a lofty pedestal. Of course teens are going to want to drink if they perceive it to be so special. Preventing them from seeing adults purchasing and drinking responsibly is not going to help teens perceptions. It's better to be honest and up front about alcohol instead of hiding it away like some dark, secret and amazing potion.

I also think that our drinking age should be more like Germany's. At 16 years youth are able to purchase wine and beer, and at 18 they can purchase harder spirits. My reasoning behind this is that is demystifies alcohol and allows youth to gain a healthier understanding and tolerance for alcohol before they increase their consumption. Part of the problem in our system is that for a significant portion of youth their first experience with alcohol is hard liquor served at house or basement parties. In these instances their first experience drinking alcohol is fairly extreme and is partially (in my opinion) partially responsible for many peoples alcohol addictions. I would prefer it if youth had a healthier education surrounding alcohol. Similar to how abstinence from sex is a terribly unreliable method of birth control, teaching abstinence from alcohol has similar problems.

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This plan will only save them money. They will dismiss all the 20 plus dollar an hour employees with benefits and my ???? 6 pack will still cost me the same......

Your local beer & wine store employee makes more like 12 dollars an hour and have a minimal benefit package.

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Don't think enforcement is really an issue. Kids want it they will get it. I found this rather humorous from above though:

"I've heard strong support for liquor sales in grocery stores and the added convenience it would afford B.C. families,"

LOL, really? Is it really that inconvenient as it is now? "Oh Hanna, mommy forgot to get dad's 40 of Bacardi so he can get sloshed and beat me tonight. Run over to aisle 3 and grab that for me, oh and get some cookies for you and your little brother.:

Really, I think it comes to why rob Peter to give to Paul? Currently you have some small independent outlets and some mid-sized corps running multiple locations and you're going to shut them down to more than likely just give another product to the giant corp chains to sell?

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Don't think enforcement is really an issue. Kids want it they will get it. I found this rather humorous from above though:

"I've heard strong support for liquor sales in grocery stores and the added convenience it would afford B.C. families,"

LOL, really? Is it really that inconvenient as it is now? "Oh Hanna, mommy forgot to get dad's 40 of Bacardi so he can get sloshed and beat me tonight. Run over to aisle 3 and grab that for me, oh and get some cookies for you and your little brother.:

Really, I think it comes to why rob Peter to give to Paul? Currently you have some small independent outlets and some mid-sized corps running multiple locations and you're going to shut them down to more than likely just give another product to the giant corp chains to sell?

And why shouldn't the giant corps be able to sell liquor if that's what the purchasing public is demanding? Are we so afraid of competition that the price of liquor will drop for a change?

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And why shouldn't the giant corps be able to sell liquor if that's what the purchasing public is demanding? Are we so afraid of competition that the price of liquor will drop for a change?

It won't drop, taxed and regulated just like cigarettes. You'll find only minor price differences. Should we also be able to buy porn and marijuana (legality pending) at the local Walmart in full view of children as well? Personally, if something is legally only allowed for adults it should only be sold in adult only establishments (including cigarettes).

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It won't drop, taxed and regulated just like cigarettes. You'll find only minor price differences. Should we also be able to buy porn and marijuana (legality pending) at the local Walmart in full view of children as well? Personally, if something is legally only allowed for adults it should only be sold in adult only establishments (including cigarettes).

Who says we aren't already buying porn in front of our kids? Sure, the Playboy might be seal-bagged up, but it still says PLAYBOY in the front. Do you think 8 year olds are oblivious to what Playboy's contents are?

Costco already has this store-within-a-store method (but for tobacco products). I fail to see how this cannot extend to alcohol.

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And why shouldn't the giant corps be able to sell liquor if that's what the purchasing public is demanding? Are we so afraid of competition that the price of liquor will drop for a change?

It won't drop, taxed and regulated just like cigarettes. You'll find only minor price differences. Should we also be able to buy porn and marijuana (legality pending) at the local Walmart in full view of children as well? Personally, if something is legally only allowed for adults it should only be sold in adult only establishments (including cigarettes).

Leave it as is.

Did they think about self serve checkouts? What is stopping a minor from doing that and then getting the store in trouble?

Also hate to see it end up like the states where you can buy it at any corner store. More trouble.

With the liquor stores you can control it better versus untrained grocery store workers, hell you can be a cashier at 16.

Have any of you three been outside your own province? (assuming you're all from BC)

Concerning Playstation's post, why would you compare it to the states when your neighbouring province has liquor stores all over? This problem isn't as "troubling" as your paranoia dictates. Look to Alberta to provide more logic on the matter:

1) In Alberta, grocery chains like Co-op and Sobey's has a separate entrance or is in a separate building entirely for selling of alcohol.

2) Alberta provincial law concerning alcohol and minors dictates minors cannot sell alcohol at any licensed seller which includes the grocery store chains:

http://www.aglc.gov...._Laws_&_You.pdf

A minor is a person under 18 years of age. It is unlawful for a licensee or employee of a licensee or any other person to serve liquor to a minor in licensed premises. It is also unlawful for a minor to obtain, receive or possess liquor in licensed premises.

The AGLC or Police may impose serious penalties or charges against licensees and/or staff serving

liquor to minors.

]Here are ways to protect yourself:

1. If a person appears to be under 25 years of age and tries to enter licensed premises where

minors are prohibited, or asks for liquor service in any licensed premises, you must demand

proof of age.

2. Do not employ a minor to sell or serve liquor in any licensed premises.

3. Ensure that liquor is not sold to an adult who may pass it to someone under 18 years of age.

4. Minors are not permitted to enter or be in a premises that has an endorsement prohibiting

minors, except under the following conditions:

a. A minor who is the son, daughter or spouse of the licensee or the manager of licensed

premises may enter and remain in those premises during the hours and on the days when

the sale or consumption of liquor in those premises is prohibited.

b. A minor who is hired by a licensee to repair or service equipment or to repair furnishings in

licensed premises may, with the authority and under the supervision of the licensee, enter

and remain in the licensed premises for the time required to complete the repairs or service.

Nowhere is your thought process applicable to reality, even concerning self serve checkouts.

Here in Canada, it really doesn't matter quite honestly. Provincial governments regulate alcohol so tightly there isn't any difference between private in provinces like AB/SK and public like ON/BC. The biggest misunderstanding too (re: Common Sense's post) is that in private establishments that liquor is much cheaper. Not in Canada. Alberta has virtually the same prices for liquor, in many cases, a few dollars more expensive, that you'll find in BC or Ontario.

I favour the private establishment liquor sellers because I don't like government selling liquor at all but as far as the price goes you won't find much difference. There is nowhere you can evade the Canadian-cost-markup and liquor taxes.

As for Gman's post on porn, again, look to the way Alberta does liquor stores. I won't address cigs because that's different entirely, but as far as alcohol goes, or even the issue of porn mags, this paranoia is unfounded.

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Seems like some of you didn't bother reading the full story.All they are talking about is moving some pre-existing liquor stores into a grocery store. It won't make it easier for minors because it is still its own store. Won't be taking away any liquor stores from ma and pop, just means they would be paying their rent to someone else. So instead of McDonalds in a Walmart you got a Liquor Store. I have no problem with that, doesn't make sense for Vancouver(mainly because the liquor store are usually closer than most grocery stores) but for the burbs ya thats a great idea. One less trip for people.

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