Friday, April 3, 2015

BC Liquor stores to remain Open on Good Friday for first time

Extended Hours and other changes coming
to Prince Rupert's BC Liquor Store

Change has come to your local BC Liquor Store, with the Prince Rupert location among those in British Columbia that will remain open today, Good Friday.

The local outlet will be open from 11AM to 6 PM today, have regular hours on Saturday, but then will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

New Hours for
BC Liquor Store
in Prince Rupert
The Good Friday opening  marks the first time for BC Liquor Stores to remain open on what is traditionally a Stat Holiday and more changes are on the way.

With plans from the BCLC to offer extended hours and Sunday openings part of the new model for the provincially owned stores.

As well, refrigerated coolers will soon be installed at many locations to allow for the purchase of cold beer, something that private outlets have been providing for a number of years.

The moves are in part an answer to recent decisions by the Provincial Government to allow for the sale of alcohol, wine and spirits in Grocery stores in the province (though that has not taken place in Prince Rupert).  Those initiatives started to roll out this week in larger markets of the province.

Among some of the concerns that BCGEU, the union that represents the workers at the Government stores has with the recent changes, is the store within a store concept for the province's grocery stores.

With the union making their case for the need for BC Liquor Store employees to be the ones responsible for staffing of those potential locations. A prospect that many suggest isn't likely to find much traction with the provincial government.

The changes in hours and modifications for the Government run outlets will also provide an opportunity for those stores to offer similar levels of service to the private operations that have become common place around the province.

BCGEU has hailed the shift to longer hours and better customer options as a long overdue decision, providing some background on the issue  through the union website.

The topic of the shift in liquor policy from the province has in the past made for some lively discussion at City Council, some of those notes can be found below:

October 2014 -- Changes in provincial liquor licensing still a concern for some on Council
February 2014 -- Councillor Thorkelson looks to block some of the new Provincial liquor rules in Prince Rupert
November 2013 -- Provincial Liquor Policy review deadline passes without Prince Rupert council contribution

For more items related to developments in the Northwest Commercial sector see our archive page here.

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