Privatization of Liquor Corporation will do more harm than good, says NAPE | National Union of Public and General Employees

Privatization of Liquor Corporation will do more harm than good, says NAPE

Apart from the economic impact, research shows that privatization of liquor stores has profound social and public health consequences. 

St. John's (08 July 2015) — Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) President Jerry Earle disputes calls for privatization of liquor sales in the province by the Canadian Federation of Independant Business (CFIB). 

Earle's warning came on the heels of a position paper from the local chapter of the CFIB calling on government to review the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) with the goal of privatizing the crown corporation.

Concern about how the $700 million in lost revenue will impact public services 

“It is no surprise that the CFIB is lobbying the government to privatize liquor stores as they are the ones who will reap the profits,” said Earle. “One of the biggest issues, however, is on the other side of the equation — the lost revenue to the provincial coffers. In the last five years alone, the province received over $700 million from the NLC. These funds are used to help provide the public services, like health care, that the people of this province depend on every day.”

Experience in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan demonstrates the profound social and health consequences of privatizing liquor sales

The privatization experience in other jurisdictions across Canada has proven to be less than successful. For example, since privatization, Alberta has foregone over $1.5 billion in tax revenue, despite increases in per capita alcohol consumption.

Apart from the economic impact, research shows that privatization of liquor stores has profound social and public health consequences.

Recent reviews in B.C., for example, have shown a much higher liquor law compliance and enforcement rate in public liquor stores (e.g. checking for ID, not selling to intoxicated patrons, not selling to minors, etc.). Other jurisdictions have also experienced increased incidents of impaired driving and alcohol-related deaths after privatizing liquor stores.

CFIB uses its own members to bolster support for privatization

“The CFIB is using a one-sided telephone poll of 114 of its own members — small- and medium-sized business owners — to argue for the privatization of liquor stores in this province. We are hopeful that the current government and the opposition parties see through this ploy for what it really is — an attempt to transfer public funds into private hands,” stated Earle.

“Experience in other parts of the country has shown that privatization has led to lower government revenues, higher prices for the public, and increased social harm. NAPE/NUPGE will do everything in its power to ensure that the Liquor Corporation continues to stay in the hands of the public for the good of the province.”

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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

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