Ottawa Citizen Editorial: Open up alcohol sales
The Ottawa Citizen July 25, 2012 3:40 PM
It’s ridiculous that most corner stores in Ontario aren’t allowed to sell beer and wine. The provincial government should allow responsible, regulated private operators to sell legal products to grown-ups.
A recent petition from many of the province’s convenience stores has drawn attention to the weirdness of the status quo. The government of Dalton McGuinty, in full Premier Dad mode, has already said no. But his Progressive Conservative rival, Tim Hudak, is open to the idea.
The very suggestion of “privatization” of alcohol sales always causes a stir in Ontario, which is strange, given that certain private companies are already allowed to sell alcohol.
The companies that operate The Beer Store — Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd. — have control over most beer sales in the province, for no apparent reason. If these were all Canadian-owned companies, there might at least be a wrong-headed nationalist argument for giving them such retail power. But they’re not.