June 13, 2014 9:58 pm

City of Victoria considering a surcharge on alcohol sales

WATCH: The city of Victoria is considering a 5% per drink tax to help pay for the increased costs of policing drunks as a result of the province loosening liquor laws. Kylie Stanton explains.

VANCOUVER – The City of Victoria is considering a surcharge on alcohol sales to cover costs that could come with the province loosening liquor laws.

Victoria council says changes such as permitting the sale of alcohol in grocery stores and relaxing rules at public events will increase policing costs.

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They’re considering a surcharge of about five cents per drink.

They also want the province to increase the number of liquor inspectors.

Right now there are only two covering southern Vancouver Island.

“Ultimately, for us, making sure that as this comes to Victoria, that we have an opportunity to keep our downtown safe, vibrant, fun, that’s what we want to make happen,” said Dean Fortin, Victoria’s Mayor.

Kara Thompson, from the Centre for Addictions Research, said they have spent more than $900 million a year in healthcare and policing costs from alcohol. “That exceeds the revenue that we make,” she said. “And I expect with the liquor law changes that are happening that we’re only going to see an increase in those costs, and so we need to come up with creative ways to try to offset some of those things.”

- With files from Kylie Stanton

© Shaw Media, 2014

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