B.C. wine soon to be sold at grocery stores
Government set to announce the first B.C. grocery store to sell VQA wines
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.
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.