Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday, December 22, 2014
Kathleen Wynne warns ‘change’ looms for The Beer Store
Premier Kathleen Wynne says Ontarians can “expect some change” in the new year on the way booze is sold in the province, including a rethink of the government’s deal with the foreign-owned Beer Store.
While the premier remained coy about how far she is prepared to go, she said the Liberals are “absolutely” serious about reforms.
“I’m impatient to get at that,” Wynne told the Star on Wednesday during a year-end interview in her Queen’s Park office.
“There’s a distribution system that works very well, but the fact it works very well has a value to it, right?” she said of the privately owned Beer Store.
“So how do we realize that value for the people of the province?”
A blue-ribbon panel on monetizing provincial assets led by former TD Bank chair Ed Clark has recommended keeping the LCBO in public hands while expanding its operations and charging The Beer Store a “franchise fee.”
Clark has warned the brewers, who claim they cannot afford another tariff, they will not be allowed to pass along the levy to consumers in the form of higher beer prices.
If they balk, the government is threatening to take away the monopoly enjoyed by AB InBev, MolsonCoors, and Sapporo, the offshore parent companies of Labatt, Molson and Sleeman. (Source: Toronto Star)
Kathleen Wynne, Ontario, Beer, Beer Store, liquor, cartel, monopoly, alcohol