Wine in grocery stores ramps up privatization of the LCBO: OPSEU

"This move means less money for the government to pay for public services. It means reduced social responsibility when it comes to the sale of alcohol. And with the increased availability of alcohol, it means higher health and social costs.” — Denise Davis, OPSEU Chair, Liquor Board Division

Toronto (31 Oct. 2016) — The Ontario government’s move to put wine in grocery stores, announced today, is another step in the backdoor privatization of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) says.

Privatization: one bottle at a time

“The majority of Ontarians do not support the privatization of the LCBO,” said Denise Davis, Chair of the OPSEU Liquor Board Employees Division. “Yet by putting wine in grocery stores, the government is doing just that, one bottle at a time. This move means less money for the government to pay for public services. It means reduced social responsibility when it comes to the sale of alcohol. And with the increased availability of alcohol, it means higher health and social costs.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontarians are not fooled by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s latest attempt to raise her rock-bottom approval ratings.

“There are 2 villains here,” said Thomas. “One is the grocery store lobby, hungry for profit, and the other is the Premier, desperate to save her political hide.”

Liberals conduct minimal consultation on expanding private alcohol outlets

The Ontario government has begun liberalizing and privatizing alcohol sales with minimal public consultation. Already, some 60 stores across the province are selling beer and cider. Starting today, wine will be on shelves in up to 70 grocery stores. The government’s plan is to expand alcohol sales to 450 grocery stores, a 25 per cent increase in the number of alcohol outlets in the province.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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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