"The government should be doing everything in its power to save lives and promoting agency store expansion is not one of them.” — Debbie Bovyer, PEIUPSE President.
Charlottetown (10 Feb. 2014) — The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE), Debbie Bovyer, says “the provincial government is rationalizing why they should be selling more liquor from gas stations and convenience stores despite social and public safety concerns. Why is the province allowing alcohol to be sold out in the open, for our children to see, while the cigarettes are hidden away? What kind of message are we sending to our kids?”
PEIUPSE/NUPGE concerned about alcohol sales by untrained staff, in unregulated businesses
“The government recently reported that sales in provincial liquor stores were less than expected in 2013, in particular, stores that were located near privately run agency stores. This is not a big surprise considering government’s questionable decision to market more expensive products in the provincial stores, and the fact that agency stores stay open longer and on certain holidays compared to provincial stores. I’m worried the province is looking for reasons to hire less staff in the future and is attempting to pave the way for agency store expansion,” says Bovyer.
“Selling liquor out of gas stations and convenience stores is not the right thing to do,” asserts Bovyer.
Agency stores' main mandate is to make money, not care for public safety
“Agency stores have fewer checks and balances in regard to safety and provide less training to their employees. The end result is that more alcohol gets into the hands of underage drinkers and people who are already inebriated. We can’t depend on agency outlets to do the right thing because their business model is only about making money; they don’t have the same mandate, nor do they adhere to the same standards regarding public safety as do the provincial liquor stores.”
Bovyer says “almost a third of criminal convictions in PEI are for drinking and driving. The government should be doing everything in its power to save lives and promoting agency store expansion is not one of them.”
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