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Islanders could soon have more places to pick up a bottle of wine. (CBC)

The province of P.E.I. plans to expand the private sale of liquor.

Tourism Minister Robbie Henderson hinted last week there could soon be more privately operated liquor stores on the Island, and the plan was confirmed in Finance Minister Wes Sheridan's budget speech Wednesday.

The province will roll out a pilot project that will see five or six new "agency stores" this year in targeted regions of the Island. Kevin Murphy, former chair of the Tourism Advisory Council, said the move is long overdue.

"Places like Cavendish, that do not have a liquor store, is really unacceptable when it comes to a prime tourist destination," said Murphy.

"When you come here and you say, 'You don't have a liquor store here? We're on holidays here.'"

Sheridan would not say if any of the 19 provincially-run liquor stores would close as a result of the new agency stores.

He said "everything is under review," but didn't say if that meant store closures.

Currently there is one privately-run liquor store in the province, in Morell, as well as some outlet stores.