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Wine now available in select Ontario grocery stores

Last Updated Oct 28, 2016 at 7:58 pm EDT

The Ontario government’s relaxed rules for the sale of wine in grocery stores took effect on Friday, with up to 70 locations eligible to sell it across the province.

The provincial government said in September that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario had selected 13 retailers after a competitive bidding process for licences.

Under previous rules, the sale of wine at Ontario grocery stores was limited to kiosks set apart from other shelving. The sale of beer and cider at grocery stores began last year.

Among the retailers to receive licences for the sale of wine and beer at some of their stores under the latest phase of the transition are Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys and Walmart as well as other regional and local retailers. Click here for a full list.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the changes will help Ontario winemakers, grocers and customers.

“With one stop, consumers can pick up wine alongside other grocery items, making life more convenient for Ontarians,” Sousa said at Coppa’s Fresh Market in Toronto on Friday.

The province has said beer and cider will eventually be sold in up to 450 grocery stores in Ontario under a plan to liberalize alcohol sales and wine will be in up to 300 of those stores.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has objected to the sale of wine in grocery stories, saying it is a step towards privatization of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

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