Province acts to modernize B.C. liquor distribution system

VICTORIA – Today the Province announced it intends to approach the private sector to see how liquor distribution in B.C. can be delivered in a modernized and cost-effective manner.

The Province will conduct a Request for Proposals to transfer the government-owned and operated liquor distribution branch warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops to the private sector by 2015.

By privatizing the warehouses, the Province will realize a long-term capital gain, and create an opportunity for the private sector to find more efficient ways to distribute liquor in B.C.

Currently, liquor is distributed throughout the province by both public and private services. The two government-owned warehouses distribute approximately 55 per cent of the liquor that is sold in British Columbia.

The Liquor Distribution Branch is responsible for the implementation, distribution, wholesaling and retailing of alcohol in B.C., and operates 197 government liquor stores and two warehouses. The government-operated liquor stores will not be affected by this Request for Proposals.

The two warehouses employ about 400 BCGEU staff between them.