Public health officials warn that the increased access to alcohol is a danger to those suffering from illnesses like alcoholism, and local liquor businesses are concerned the move will impact their bottom line.
The Vancouver City Council recently passed the bylaw, which states that only stores larger than 10,000 square feet which have the correct licenses may sell wine. Staff handling the sale of wine must be 19 years old and have a valid wine handling certificate. Stores must also have a security plan approved.
Health officials that attended a recent city council meeting expressed concerns at the public health level, with one suggesting warning labels should be put on wine bottles. Another said that over the last decade the number of hospitalizations due to alcohol-related illnesses has increased 40%.
Small business owners were also in attendance and wanted the city council to consider changing licensing rules that would allow private stores to expand business.