By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday July 26, 2012
Push for beer in Ontario corner stores won’t succeed
The Ontario government is denying a request by the province’s convenience stores to sell beer and wine at some locations.
The Ontario Convenience Stores Association held a news conference at Queen’s Park on Wednesday in which it presented a petition with 112,500 signatures from across the province supporting the idea of broader retail availability of beer and wine.
But a finance ministry spokesman told CBC News that while the government takes the proposal by the convenience store association seriously, it believes the public is served well by the current system.
The LCBO is an effective way to govern public interest, said Scott Blodgett.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak questioned if “the old solutions from the 1930s and ’40s that the government should run the alcohol business in the province from top to bottom” were still appropriate today.
New Democrat critic Rosario Marchese said the LCBO was a “pretty good system” which provides strong revenues for the province and restricts youth access to alcohol.
“I think our priority should be making the system work better, not new schemes that make it easier for young people to get their hands on alcohol.”
Former Liberal premier David Peterson promised to allow corner stores to sell beer and wine in the 1980s, but it never happened. (Source: CBC News)