BC Liquor law changes impact Port Alberni

The city will have to flex its bylaw muscles if it hopes to have any say or influence over the impact of new provincial liquor laws.

The city will have to flex its bylaw muscles if it hopes to have any say or influence over the impact of new provincial liquor laws, city planner Scott Smith said.

Smith gave councillors an overview of the new laws at their June 23 meeting.

Shoppers can now buy beer and wine from farmers’ markets, Smith said.

Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton announced the changes on June 21. Other changes already announced previously, will also see beer and wine sales in grocery stores permitted sometime in 2015.

Once that comes into effect, liquor, beer and wine will only be permitted using a “store-within-a-store” model, Smith said. The province isn’t issuing any new liquor licences therefore existing license holders would have to apply.

A second initiative could see craft beer and wines sold on store shelves alongside other grocery items.

The changes will also allow liquor manufacturers to sell their products at farmers’ markets if the markets approve and if it is meets local city bylaws.

According to Smith, the Spirit Square Farmers’ Market at Harbour Quay is considered public use under city zoning. But the zoning doesn’t distinguish between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

After the meeting, Smith used the example of Chase and Warren Wineries, saying that using the new laws the business could apply to the farmers’ market at Harbour Quay to sell wine.

Councillor Jack McLeman asked what kind of control or say the city had in the matter.

Smith replied that the city permits liquor stores under site-specific zoning bylaws, therefore any proposed relocation to a grocery store would trigger rezoning and a public process.

It’s not clear however if the zoning applies to the craft beer and wines slated to be sold off of store shelves, he said.

In his report to council, Smith said that the province also eliminated the five-kilometre restriction.

Under changes to come, liquor store owners will be able to move their licence anywhere in the province, as long as they are no closer than one kilometre to an existing liquor outlet. Previously, regulations limited them to moving within five kilometres of their current store.

The impact, Smith said, could see Port Alberni liquor outlets move to larger urban areas such as Vancouver or to tourist-rich areas such as Whistler.

“We’ll see some business people leave Port Alberni for more money,” Coun. Hira Chopra said.

According to a provincial government press release, 17 of the 73 recommendations from last year’s review have been implemented. The government plans to implement more than 50 by spring 2015.

A re-write of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act is also in the works.

EDITED: To reflect the plan to sell beer, wine and liquor in grocery stores won’t be put into effect until sometime in 2015. Also that 17 of the 73 recommendations from the liquor law review have bee implemented.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Vandals break windows in Port Alberni heritage train cars

Damage in the thousands of dollars, says Industrial Heritage Society

Fire destroys mysterious travel trailer in Port Alberni alley

Port Alberni Fire Dept. security cameras capture start of fire

Port Alberni cadet learns outdoor skills at Vernon camp

Outdoor skills some of leadership learning activities at annual summer camp

Port Alberni wants to bring back bed races for annual Salmon Fest

Veteran racer recalls thrill of racing a handcrafted bed through city streets

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Most Read