Protecting public services by keeping Manitoba liquor stores public

Public Liquor Marts

April 26 2023

All Manitobans benefit when members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ (MGEU/UPGE) fight to stop liquor stores from being privatized.

Pubic safety is a priority

The direct benefits of public liquor stores are well known. Because the goal is serving the public, not maximizing profits, publicly owned liquor stores do a better job of protecting public safety.

Staff are trained to spot intoxicated buyers and underage buyers and know that’s a priority. The response to violent thefts in 2018 to 2019 was enhanced security measures to keep stores and the public safe.

With privatization, the focus changes. Protecting the public takes a back seat to maximizing profits. Research shows the concerns about the impact privatization will have on safety and public health are well-founded.

Privatization of liquor stores will take millions from schools, hospitals and other public services

Indirectly, the benefits of public liquor stores are even greater.

Profits from public liquor stores help fund other public services like health care, education, and public needs like infrastructure. In 2021 to 2022, profits from liquor stores contributed $315 million to the services Manitobans rely on.

With privatization, those profits would no longer benefit all Manitobans. Instead, much of that money will be flowing into the pockets of already wealthy individuals, like the billionaire owners of Canada’s largest grocery store chains.

Despite all the evidence showing that we’re better off when liquor stores are public, the current Manitoba government is attempting to privatize liquor sales.

MGEU/NUPGE members are fighting back

MGEU/NUPGE members know how much Manitoba’s schools and hospitals need $315 million in liquor store profits. They want liquor stores to be safe for the public and for the people who work in them.

People can support MGEU’s fight to keep liquor stores public. To learn how, go to or the Keeping Liquor Public Facebook Page.