Updated July 12th – Kamloops council allows Save-On-Foods to sell wine in an about-face. Marathon meeting sees council reverse May decision; vote is 5-1 in favour of wine in Save-On-Foods
Originally published by James Peters @ CFJC Today
Kamloops council is going with the status quo, quashing an attempt by Save-On Foods to sell BC wine at its Summit Drive grocery store.
The grocery giant was asking for a variance to a bylaw not allowing new liquor licenses within one kilometre of existing license-holders.
Councillor Ken Christian was one of two councillors to support the variance.
“We shouldn’t be involved in protectionism. I think we should allow the free market to dictate where and when things are going to be sold within the confines of the legislation that the government has provided with respect to the sale of alcohol to minors,” said Christian.
But the majority of councillors sided with private liquor store owners who came to argue the impact the variance would have on their sales, including Councillor Tina Lange.
“Save-On Foods will survive absolutely without selling wine in their aisles, but I’m not so sure that all the private liquor stores are going to do so well if Save-On gets this license. In fact, I believe they will suffer,” said Lange.
Mayor Peter Milobar and Councillor Arjun Singh recused themselves from the debate to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
May 27, 2016 Update: Kamloop’s wineries have now mounted a petition to bring their products to Save-On-Foods
Harper’s Trail winery owner Vicki Collett launched an online petition at Change.org earlier this week, urging city council to reconsider its decision not to allow the Sahali grocery store to sell B.C. VQA wines on its shelves, using a licence once held by adjacent Discover Wines.
Here is the link to the petition https://www.change.org/p/kamloops-city-council-help-save-kamloops-only-vqa-license
June 24, 2016 Update – Council has voted 4-3 to reconsider the variance to allow Save On Foods to sell 100% BCVQA wine on their shelves. Council meets again next month to actually vote on it. See also Kamloops councillor blames wine flip-flop on provincial government
Where do you stand on Wine in Grocery stores. Looking forward to your comments!