Time to end the LCBO monopoly

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2012

Toronto – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says it’s high time the Ontario government takes its nose out of businesses like the LCBO, and begins focusing on core services like health care, education and infrastructure.

“I’ve had many people over the years ask me why Queen’s Park is operating commercial enterprise,” Barrett said. “Why aren’t we exposing a business like the LCBO to private sector competition and at the same time enabling consumer choice?”

While staring down the barrel of a $30.2 billion deficit Barrett wonders why the Ontario government is talking about spending another $100 million for new LCBO outlets.

“These are decisions for business people and while time and money is being invested on things like the LCBO, taxpayers are waiting too long for medical appointments and schools are fundraising to pay for things once provided by the province.”

The Official Opposition announced today that it would 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.

Barrett said he recently met with local wineries who expressed concern with the process to have their products sold in the LCBO. “It’s an expensive and time-consuming endeavour for local wine operators,” Barrett explained. “The LCBO should be promoting Ontario wine but the red tape prevents this and local wineries usually end up abandoning the idea.”

The Official Opposition believes the province should end the Beer Store monopoly and allow sales of beer and wine in corner or grocery stores.

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For more information please contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 905-765-8413 or 1-800-903-8629