NEWS

B.C. wine soon to be sold at grocery stores

03/27/2015 12:17 EDT | Updated 05/27/2015 05:59 EDT
The B.C. government has introduced legislation that will re-write the Liquor Control and Licensing Act to regulate the sale of VQA wines in grocery stores.

The Vinter Quality Alliance is a designation that guarantees the quality and origin of Canadian wines. 

The government has already released promotional material that appears to show the Save On Foods in Surrey as the first grocery store that will stock B.C. wine. 

The pictures show hundreds of bottles of wine on five different shelves.

All the store needs now is a final inspection, according to the legislation, which will allow wine to be sold in select grocery stores as early as April 1.

Limited licenses

Under the legislation, the government will allow VQA and independent wine stores to transfer their licences to an eligible grocery store, and the wine will be on shelves within the grocery store.

Attorney General Suzanne Anton says only a few such licences are available.

NDP liquor critic David Eby says the legislation unfairly restricts many of the smaller stores.

"The unfairness to them of excluding them from this is pretty profound and surprising to them because they thought they would have a shot at this," he said.

Liquor coming soon

Last year the province announced that existing liquor store licence holders would be able to relocate and set up stores inside eligible grocery stores, but only if they were not within one kilometre of an existing liquor store.

There is no indication of exactly when the first liquor store will appear inside a B.C. grocery store, under the government's store-within-a-store model.

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