A union representing employees at the Liquor Distribution Branch wants the Province to put a hold on grocery stores selling wine, cider and sake.
BC Government and Service Employees Union President Stephanie Smith says one key area of concern is training.
Smith says liquor store employees are trained in specifics, like product knowledge and knowing to card people to check their age.
But not necessarily grocery clerks.
“Grocery store tellers are trained to get people through with their groceries. There’s a completely different level of expectation in the work that public liquor store clerk would be expected to do.”
Smith says the six month hold would be ample time to outline responsible selling requirements within the province.
BC’s Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction says she’s happy to take feedback on the matter.
Coralee Oakes says the BCGEU’s points of concern haven’t fallen on deaf ears.
She says all feedback will only make BC’s liquor sales industry stronger.
“We know that that’s good for workers. We know that that helps create, you know, a competitive environment, and I’ve certainly heard going out and talking with folks that they wanted the ability for the BC Liquor stores as well to be able to compete.”
Oakes says however, there are a few things to keep in mind.
“I really do want to take the opportunity to assure them that the grocery stores selling wine are doing so using the proper public safety requirements that we require all businesses to follow. And really, to put it into perspective…we’re talking about two stores right now.”
Oakes says there are only two grocery stores selling liquor right now.