More convenient beer and wine sales

For Immediate Release
December 7, 2012

Vanessa – Last July, a petition with 112,500 names arrived at Queen’s Park calling for the sale of beer and wine in corner stores. Of interest locally, is that the petition was instigated by Joanne McMurchy, owner of the Vanessa General Store.

Ontario’s PC Opposition propose we consider all options for increasing choice and competition, ranging from the sale, partial sale or greater private franchising of non-core assets like the LCBO. Local MPP Toby Barrett said it’s time to end the monopoly the LCBO and Beer Store have and allow sales in corner stores and grocery stores.

“Why does the Ontario government run businesses that distract its focus from core services we all value like health care, education and infrastructure,” Barrett questioned. “The LCBO is a prime example of Queen’s Park operating a commercial enterprise – from top to bottom – that should be exposed to private sector competition, enabling more consumer choice.”

Revenues to government are not a function of owning stores – in fact, owning and operating stores incurs a lot of cost. Barrett went on to say that we trust the private sector to sell alcohol at restaurants, beer stores and sporting events, why doesn’t the government trust the private sector in the retail liquor and wine industry?

“I don’t see why being a government employee makes someone more responsible than working at a restaurant, or a beer store or a corner store,” Barrett questioned. “Ontarians can already buy alcohol in thousands of different places, it just has to come in a glass or with the bottle cap removed.”

Taxpayers across the province have said they want more places to buy a six pack or a bottle of wine. Ottawa with 1.2 million people has only 27 LCBO stores, when Calgary of the same population has 270 alcohol outlets.

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