Coalition speaks to benefits of keeping Manitoba's liquor system public

"If we were to privatize this important public asset, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for public services like health care, education, and programs for families would be lost." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (07 March 2016) — On March 7, the Keeping Liquor Public Coalition was unveiled along with a new interactive website (keepingliquorpublic.ca) that highlights the benefits of Manitoba’s public liquor system.

Privatizing liquor sales will hurt public services 

“Our current system does a great job of balancing great selection, competitive pricing and social responsibilities,” says Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “If we were to privatize this important public asset, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for public services like health care, education, and programs for families would be lost. For the benefit of all Manitobans, we can’t afford to do that.”

Other factors to consider when distributing alcohol

The Keeping Liquor Public Coalition believes the time is right to remind Manitobans that, while a majority of healthy adults can enjoy a glass of wine or a couple of beers at the lake or a Jets game when they want to, there are other factors that should be considered when it comes to the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol.

In addition to the sales model, there are other issues that several partners pointed out in their decision to create the coalition.

CEO of MADD says government-controlled liquor stores safest way to sell and market alcohol

“Most research shows that increased access and reduced control leads to the increase of problems related to the use of alcohol as well as increased access to alcohol by minors,” said Yvonne Block, former CEO of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba. “The benefits of public ownership outweigh what I see as relatively short-sighted benefits of privatization — both economically and from a public health perspective."

“MADD Canada believes that the safest way to sell and market alcohol is through government controlled liquor stores,” said Andrew Murie, chief executive officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. "This system assures the public there is a balance between the sale of alcohol and public health. Government employees are trained not to serve minors or intoxicated customers.”

Broad coalition involved in campaign to keep liquour public

The coalition partners include a wide array of organizations dedicated to our communities:

· Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
· Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) — Manitoba
· Council of Canadians — Brandon — Westman Chapter
· Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL)
· Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU)
· the MGEU’s Golico Component
· Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU)
· Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada)
· Paramedic Association of Manitoba (PAM)
· Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
· UFCW Local 832
· Winnipeg Labour Council (WLC)
· Yvonne Block — former CEO of Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

Visit keepingliquourpublic.ca to learn more about the benefits of Manitoba’s public Liquor Marts and help spread the message! 

NUPGE 

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

NUPGE Components: 

Occupational Groups: 

Issues and Campaigns: