Review of B.C.'s liquor distribution system set for new year

Posted : 12/12/2018

City News
By Marcella Bernardo
December 11, 2018

It’s coming too late for customers complaining about supply shortages during the busy holiday season, but B.C.’s liquor distribution system is going to be independently reviewed. 

The provincial government is trying to resolve concerns raised by wholesale clients having trouble filling orders in Kamloops, Vancouver and Delta, which is the new home of B.C.’s largest processing centre.

Last week, NEWS 1130 reported 50 extra workers have been hired to help clear backlogs, but industry insiders say the system has been troubled more than a decade.

A statement issued by staff with Attorney General David Eby explains the review is one of the recommendations made by liquor policy advisor Mark Hicken in his report earlier this year.

He also suggested improved business interactions with the liquor industry. 

The review is not expected to start until next year — after the Liquor Distribution Branch has “substantially transitioned” to the new distribution centre in Delta.

It will include an examination of current practices, as well as seek input from wholesale customers.

Numbers provided by the LDB show more than 335,000 orders are filled for nearly 10,000 customers throughout the province every year.

It is also one of B.C.’s largest retailers with liquor stores recording more than 40 million annual customer visits.

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