Corner stores: The beer and wine debate
The Windsor Star
August 1, 2012
During the 1985 provincial election, Liberal leader David Peterson created a stir on the campaign trail with a promise to allow the sale of beer and wine in corner stores. It was a hot-button issue that many Ontarians supported. And it possibly contributed to Peterson’s strong showing at the polls which led to the Liberals cobbling together a minority government with support from the New Democratic Party.
Not surprisingly, a bill to clear the way for beer and wine in corner stores was one of the first legislative initiatives undertaken by the Liberals.
But when the proposed legislation to broaden the sale of alcohol came up for a vote, the NDP and Conservatives overwhelmingly defeated the bill 53-28.
At the time, Consumer and Commercial Relations Minister Monte Kwinter called the vote a “missed opportunity” to bring Ontario into the 1980s and finally put a “chink in Ontario’s monopolistic distribution system.”
Now, almost 30 years later, beer and wine sales are back in the spotlight, this time with the Ontario Convenience Stores Association pushing for the right to put alcohol on their shelves.