Liquor store closures hurt small town Saskatchewan | National Union of Public and General Employees

Liquor store closures hurt small town Saskatchewan

Aside from providing good jobs for small communities, public liquor stores generated $232 million in net revenue for the people of Saskatchewan last year. Why does the government want to give that up? Help stop the closures. Write to your MLA and the Minister

Why would anyone want to privatize Saskatchewan's public liquor stores?Regina (26 May 2014) — Small town Saskatchewan will be hurt by the government’s decision to start closing rural liquor stores. Without warning or consultation, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) announced that public liquor stores in Ituna, Langenburg, Kerrobert and Ponteix would be shut down in the next few months.

If You Love Saskatchewan, a coalition concerned about the privatization and loss of community services, is asking the broader public to speak out about these closures.

There are many reasons to stop the closure of public liquor stores: 

Loss of solid financial returns

These four stores generated over $900,000 net income in 2012 – 2013. That's money that can be used to fund the services we all care about, like hospitals, schools, highways and long-term care homes.

Small towns will lose good jobs

SLGA staff live and work in their communities. They have children who attend local schools, keeping enrollment up. They support local businesses and pay local taxes.

The government plans to license franchises to replace stores, but since most rural franchises are located in already-established businesses, the jobs that are being lost will likely never be replaced.

Public service jobs boost local economies

For every two public service jobs in rural Saskatchewan, a third spin off job is created.

SLGA staff are trained professionals

They are experienced in selling liquor in a socially responsible manner. SLGA is committed to checking the ID of anyone who appears to be 25 years of age or under, to reduce the incidence of underage drinking.

The shift from public to private puts profit ahead of the needs of families and communities. The government is licensing four new private liquor stores in Regina and Saskatoon, and now is closing four SLGA stores in rural Saskatchewan.

Yet, public liquor stores generated $232 million in net revenue for the people of Saskatchewan last year. 

Who’s next?

The Saskatchewan government announced its decision to close small town stores without even talking to community people. The decision was made without warning. It makes you wonder which small town will be the next target?

Help keep public liquor stores in rural Saskatchewan

You can help keep these stores in their communities by sending a message to your Member of the Legislative Assembly and the Minister.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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

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