PENTICTON, B.C. – Penticton city council voted 4-3 to allow grocery stores to sell B.C. VQA wine, but the issue must first go to public hearing. Councillors who voted against the bylaw changes were concerned local winery sales would be affected by the move. “We are a local municipality, we need to protect our local businesses,” said councillor Tarik Sayeed. Those on council in favour said Penticton would look bad if the community didn’t offer B.C. wine in grocery stores like many other communities in the province. Mayor Andrew Jakubeit supported the motion. “Having the ability for our boutique wineries up and down the valley to have another outlet that’s going to stock a vast array of products I think is beneficial to them,” he said. Council voted against proximity restrictions, shutting down a proposed 1 km distance between liquor stores. VQA stores in B.C. are exempt from the provincial 1 km distance rule between liquor sale establishments. B.C. VQA wine is certified 100 per cent grown and produced in the province.The issue of grocery store wine sales will go to public hearing March 21.
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