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Allowing competition in the sale of beer and wine in Ontario
- M E D I A R E L E A S E -
This week the Ontario Legislature was presented with one of the largest petitions in its history. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) collected 112,500 signatures from more than 200 communities all in favour of allowing the sale of beer and wine in local convenience stores around the province.
The Ontario government response was quick: “The current system balances access for both customers and suppliers with social responsibility. We take the concerns of convenience store owners seriously, but we believe the current system of selling liquor is an effective way to guard the public interest.”
When asked what he thought of the government reaction, Paolo Fabrizio, Deputy Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party commented “When will the government treat Ontarians like adults? The province still controls beer and wine sales even though these are perfectly legal products, found in almost in everyone’s home. How crazy is that?”
Almost thirty years ago, the then Liberal Premier, David Peterson, promised Ontarians that he would allow convenience stores to sell beer and wine, it didn’t happen. So why are the Liberals of today dismissing what appears on the surface to be a popular movement to freeing up the sale of beer and wine? “The answer,” said Allen Small, Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party, “probably has something to do with the Liberals protecting their voter base.”
“Their minority position, and the massive provincial deficit and debt they created, require that they reign in public sector salaries and benefits, so they are already at odds with teachers and doctors. They don’t want to alienate other public sector unions by supporting the OCSA petition like the 7400 OPSEU members at the LCBO, and 7300 UFCW members at The Beer Store,” said Mr. Small.
The LCBO is a Crown Corporation, a provincial monopoly, and The Beer Store is a private joint venture owned by three companies granted a monopoly on the sale and distribution of beer in Ontario. Together with the union monopolies that control all employees for these companies, the sale of beverage alcohol in Ontario is totally protected from any competition that might possibly advantage consumers. The right of the ordinary citizen consumer to purchase a legal product at the best possible price is not a concern of this government. The Liberals are only concerned with their own well being.
In last provincial election, none of the major parties took the position of the Ontario Libertarian Party that advocated removing the government monopoly on the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol. We believe allowing free market competition within the rule of law is the best way to serve the public interest.
The Ontario Libertarian Party has been a registered political party since 1975. We advocate property rights, limited government, and voluntary interactions within communities between individuals and groups.