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 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.

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Nanaimo’s ocean centre proponents studying whether their ideas are feasible

City allots $65,000 to help Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association pay for reports

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tent city isn’t causing unpleasant interactions

I am a little old lady, and I am not afraid of the tenters, says letter writer

Snuneymuxw, school district announce deal for old Woodbank school site

Snuneymuxw to provide programs for community at closed school

Nanaimo outscores Ladner to win senior B lacrosse championship

Timbermen defeat Pioneers 14-13 in overtime Tuesday at Frank Crane Arena

WestJet increases frequency on all Nanaimo flights for fall-winter season

Airline adds one additional flight per day on both Calgary and Vancouver routes

Regional climate adaptation agriculture testing to expand in B.C.

Ottawa funds farm projects to conserve water, remove invasive species

VIDEO: B.C. brother-and-sister RCMP officers Amazing Race Canada Heroes Edition

Courtney and Taylor Callens have become the team to beat

‘Can’t erase history’ by tearing down statues, Minister says

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna spoke on the contentious removal of John A. Macdonald

Man seriously injured in Lower Mainland home explosion

Police are trying to figure out what led to a homemade explosive detonating in a Coquitlam home

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

Burgers to Beat MS has raised more than $11 million since its inception in 2009

VIDEO: Post-surgery monologue comedy gold

If you’ve ever had surgery with anaesthetic you know the coming out of it process can be a treat.

LETTERS: Doctors speak out on surgical wait times for B.C. patients

‘Governments know they will lose private clinic lawsuit’

Most Read