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Add booze to grocery list in 2014: province

Liquor sales
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The province has signaled it will allow the sale of alcohol in grocery stores in 2014. 

By mid-2014, you might be able to pick up some wine, beer or scotch along with your milk, bread and eggs.

The province announced Thursday, Nov. 28 that after several months of consultation around changes to B.C.’s liquor laws, alcohol in grocery stories is a top priority for change.

“Liquor sales in grocery stores received considerably more attention and interest and support than any other topic during the course of the liquor review,” said John Yap, parliamentary secretary in charge of the liquor law review.

Seventy-five per cent of submissions on the topic were at least generally in favour of wine, beer and spirits in supermarkets, he said.

“This is something I feel we just cannot ignore. Because it is so clearly at the top of so many British Columbians’ wish lists, I have recommended that B.C. allow liquor sales in grocery stores.”

The exact details on how it will work won’t be announced until Yap’s full report, including about 70 other recommendations for liquor law changes, is released in the new year, but he did say booze would be separated from food items within grocery stores.

The province won’t be adjusting the moratorium it has placed on the total number of liquor licences allowed for private liquor stores, currently at 731.

Those guidelines came at the recommendation of public health and safety officials during the consultation process.

Yap’s report is now in the hands of B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton. Pending her review, the changes will come before the legislature in the spring 2014 session.

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