Private specialty liquor stores to open in N.S.
Private liquor stores will open this fall in Nova Scotia that will carry brands not available in the government-owned stores.
The province will allow three to four specialty stores in Halifax and Sydney on a trial basis, with more stores to open next year if the program is a success.
Rodney MacDonald, the minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., said the idea of allowing private stores to carry hard-to-find brands came out of consultations with stakeholders in 2000.
The move has earned the support of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Spokesman Peter O'Brien said the private specialty liquor stores will be able to sell products from the province's smaller wineries.
Nova Scotia government stores require producers to supply enough bottles to stock liquor stores across the province.
The opposition New Democrats, however, call the move the thin edge of the wedge towards privatizing the entire liquor system.
New Democrat member John Holm said the government is following Ralph Klein's privatization model in Alberta.
Last year, the Nova Scotia government began allowing alcohol sales in corner stones in eight rural communities that weren't serviced by government liquor outlets.