Alberta whines as Quebec eyes liquor market

on 13/10/10 at 3:27 pm

Industry

Independent wine and spirits wholesalers are angry that Quebec’s state-owned liquor monopoly appears poised to move into the Alberta market.

A new arm of the Societe des Alcools du Quebec (SAQ) has already approached Calgary-based Willow Park Wines and Spirits, and Alberta importers see it as the first step in taking over the market, says Susan Giacomin, owner of Edmonton’s WineQuest.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission says SAQ hasn’t yet applied for a liquor-importing licence.

Giacomin said Tuesday the level playing field the government promised when it privatized most of the liquor industry in 1994 could be destroyed in one move if it happens.

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