If you were hoping to pick up a bottle of B.C. wine on a grocery store shelf in Vancouver any time soon, you are out of luck.
The City of Vancouver has voted not to allow a model that is up and running in a number of other communities around the province.
Almost a dozen other cities have jumped on board, since the provincial government allowed B.C. VQA wines on grocery store shelves in 2015.
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In Metro Vancouver, that includes Surrey, North Vancouver, Langley, Maple Ridge, Tsawwassen, and White Rock.
But Vancouver won’t be on the list.
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As part of its Liquor Policy Review, the city has opted to only allow the “store within a store” model.
In their report to city council, staff outlined concerns about public health risks associated with making access to alcohol easier.
Staff also note the private liquor industry prefers the store within a store model, even though the wine on shelf approach is more popular across Canada.
“Vancouver City Council’s decision is baffling to me”
Meanwhile, the President of Save-On-Foods says he’s disappointed Vancouver is bucking the trend, and won’t be allowing B.C. wine to be sold on the shelves of certain grocery stores.
The wine-on-shelf model has been a huge success for Save-On-Foods, with 14 stores in 11 communities – including Surrey, Langley, and most recently North Vancouver.
“Vancouver City Council’s decision is baffling to me,” said Darrell Jones. He said the City of Vancouver’s opposition to it just doesn’t make sense, especially if the top concern is public health.
LISTEN: Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones calls the decision “baffling”
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“The idea that it’s going to create a greater exposure to liquor is mind-boggling to me, when you say we’re okay with opening liquor stores within grocery stores.”
Jones says the whole idea is to promote B.C. products while allowing customers to pair wine with their meals, all in one stop.
Jones says Save-On-Foods will look to use their limited licences elsewhere, but is open to a Vancouver option if the city has a change of heart.
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