Restaurants licensed to serve alcohol could see some major savings if the province follows up with recommendations made by the B.C. Green Party.
The party is calling on government to make changes to support the province’s wine industry following the heated dispute between B.C. and Alberta.
WATCH: B.C. and Alberta fight over oil and wine
It is making three suggestions to strengthen the sector – promoting local wines and alcohol at provincially-operated liquor stores, looking into whether licensed restaurants can purchase B.C. wine at wholesale prices, and putting dollars forward to expand B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) export sales to other provinces, as well as getting them overseas.
“B.C.’s wine industry is a provincial treasure that brings significant tourism and economic activity to our province,” Green leader Andrew Weaver said in a press release.
“More than that, it represents the best of our province – innovators who have developed their businesses into an internationally renowned region. Today we are calling for the provincial government to take decisive action to support these businesses who have been unfairly targeted by a neighbouring government.”
The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association has called for the province to allow restaurants to buy wine at wholesale prices.
“As we’ve talked in the past, every restaurant that buys alcohol for their restaurant buy it at full retail. So that would be a great break for restaurants and also more importantly, a great break for people who go to restaurants,” said President and CEO Ian Tostenson.
“The pricing of B.C. wines is sort of different than normal. But I would think that you’d be in the range of 15-25 per cent in terms of price reductions on the wines.”
He said the potential savings could be passed on to customers with the price per glass also going down, or noted it could be used to balance finances with an increase to the minimum wage coming over the next three years.
This push to protect wineries comes following the Alberta government’s boycott of B.C. wine on Tuesday noting Premier John Horgan and the NDP were trying to obstruct the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
The federal government is on record saying it supports the project and has sent officials to B.C. to end the escalating feud between the provincial governments.