New liquor rules need a tweak, says liquor vendors

Set a one-kilometre space between booze stores, merchants ask

  • Jul. 9, 2015 5:00 p.m.

newsroom@mapleridgenews.com

 

The new rules about selling booze in grocery stores have the existing outlets worried about their future.

So Poma Dhaliwal, a pub owner and president of the Alliance of Beverage Licencees, is asking Maple Ridge to set a rule requiring that there be at least a kilometre between any liquor outlet, whether it be a free-standing liquor store or liquor or wine outlet set aside in a grocery store.

Dhaliwal said, under the new liquor rules, a limited number of grocery stores will be allowed to sell wine without being subject to the one-kilometre limit required between liquour outlets.

That could result in wine being sold in a grocery store, which is located next to a liquor outlet, either privately or provincially owned.

Allowing wine on grocery shelves has “serious consequences” for B.C.’s liquor industry.

It maintains that once wine is allowed in grocery stores, those outlets will dominate the marketplace, selling up to 70 per cent of the wine sold in that area.

“Small businesses are squeezed out of the market and local businesses are forced to close.”

Dhaliwal said Kamloops has already passed such a bylaw, requiring a one-kilometre distance between any future liquor outlet, including wine outlets in grocery stores.