"Many Islanders want to support the public liquor stores not just because they are more convenient but because they are more socially responsible when it comes to selling alcohol than are gas stations and convenience stores." — Debbie Bovyer, PEIUPSE President.
Charlottetown (21 May 2014) — The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE), Debbie Bovyer, says "the province just gave Islanders a good reason to shop at public liquor stores. Islanders can save five per cent on the price of beer, wine and spirits at the provincial retail outlets. If they go to privately run agency stores, they will pay the higher price. The province claims this is just the extra cost of convenience."
Public liquor stores a better deal for consumers
"I don't buy the convenience argument fully," says Bovyer. "Convenience depends on who you are speaking to and where they live. In many cases the provincial outlets are closer to Islanders and the provincial stores offer a much better selection at a better price."
Bovyer adds that "many Islanders want to support the public liquor stores not just because they are more convenient, but because they are more socially responsible when it comes to selling alcohol than are gas stations and convenience stores. Public liquor stores have trained staff that are knowledgeable about the product they sell and who are very careful to request identification from anyone that looks under the age of twenty-five. Gas stations and convenience stores have fewer staff available to check identification, the staff are not as well trained, and experience shows more minors gain access to alcohol through these stores."
Province raising prices at private liquor stores
President Bovyer believes the agency stores have not provided the province with the net gain in profits they were looking for. The agency stores simply took sales away from the public stores in 2013. That is why the province is now raising the prices at the private agency stores. They want to level out sales at the public outlets and try to deal with the extra cost and effort it takes to support the private stores.
The union was surprised by the Opposition Leader's comments. Bovyer said, "Mr. Myer's suggestion to allow more private operators to sell alcohol was irresponsible. Does the Leader of the Opposition want to see public liquor stores shut down and well paying jobs eliminated in PEI? Does he want to see more minors purchasing alcohol? Does he want more drunk drivers on the road?"
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