Even cooler Cali pinot
Terrific deluxe meritage from Two Sisters
A cool California chardonnay
Pinot grigio beats chardonnay!
Frame-up: The Beer Store, beer tax and beer prices


BC to Privatize Liquor Wholesaling

British Columbia already allows privately run wine stores selling both international wines and a separate category of more modest VQA-only stores. The province tried to implement complete privatization when Premier Gordon Campbell came to power about a decade ago. Concessions were sold to private operators and government liquor stores started to close. But labour power in BC was strong enough that the liquor board's union managed to get enough of the public on board to halt the process midstream.

The current situation is that BC has a two-tier system, with about 200 government run stores and hundreds of private, agency and VQA stores. However all distribution and wholesaling is run by the goverment and they set the prices. Just in case the price control advantage is not enough, the BCLDB also undertook a major multi-year makeover program, dressing up their stores just as the LCBO has done in Ontario: there are plenty of vested interests in the current system.

It will be interesting indeed to see what the privatization of the wholesale distribution will mean, both in terms of revenue to the goverment and choice and pricing for consumers.

Lord knows BC wine drinkers could use a break on pricing - the current model makes Ontario look cheap.

Here's the announcement.

Want more background on the BC liquor system? Here's an excellent summary from 2008.




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