Restaurants want booze price break

Province gets C+ grade from restaurants for lack of wholesale pricing

Restaurants and pubs pay the same price for the wine and beer they serve as any other buyer at government stores. They're asking for a wholesale discount.

Restaurants and pubs pay the same price for the wine and beer they serve as any other buyer at government stores. They're asking for a wholesale discount.

Restaurants and bars in B.C. want the provincial government to cut them a deal on the price they pay for wine, beer and spirits.

Right now, they’re required to buy liquor only from government stores and they must pay the same price as everyone else.

That’s prompted a C+ grade for B.c. on liquor policy in a new report from industry association Restaurants Canada, which concluded “Beautiful British Columbia is not so beautiful when it comes to liquor prices.”

B.C. Restaurant and Foodservice Association president Ian Tostenson said the hospitality industry is struggling in many areas in part because of the high prices it must pay for alcohol compared to other jurisdictions.

“The industry should be able to buy at some kind of wholesale price,” Tostenson said. “That’s one issue that should be corrected.”

Alberta offers wholesale discounts for its restaurants and bars, but there’s no wholesale pricing in most other provinces.

Tostenson is in Victoria this week to lobby the province to make that change and to reconsider why it charges a higher sales tax of 10 per cent on liquor, instead of the usual seven per cent PST.

“We have the highest taxation on wine in North America,” he said.

Restaurants would also like to be able to buy from private stores, which do get a wholesale discount and might be able to offer a price break to win restaurants’ business. Tostenson said restaurateurs would also like access to the wider selection available in private stores.

Coralee Oakes, the provincial minister responsible for liquor distribution, made no commitments but emphasized the liquor policy reforms already launched by the province.

“Many of the changes we’ve made so far – including the introduction of happy hours and allowing children to join their families for a meal in the pub – focus on supporting restaurants,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read