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Ontario to allow more booze sold in grocery, big box and convenience stores, $225M subsidy for The Beer Store


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Starting on Aug. 1 of this year, licensed grocery stores that currently sell beer, cider and wine will be able to sell ready-to-drink cocktails and sell large-pack sizes like 30 packs.

After Sept. 5, eligible convenience stores will be able to sell beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink cocktails, and after Oct. 31, all grocery stores and big box stores could sell those products, including large-pack sizes. Over time, the changes will add up to 8,500 new places where people in Ontario could buy alcohol, the government said.

 

…An agreement the former Liberal government signed with The Beer Store in 2015, which gave the company exclusive rights to sell 12- and 24-packs of beer as the province expanded sales of beer and wine to grocery stores, was set to expire at the end of 2025.

As part of this new, earlier rollout of Ford's plan to expand alcohol sales, an "early implementation agreement" signed with The Beer Store involves the province paying the company up to $225 million to support the transition, including to help it keep stores open and workers employed.
 
Edited by BeaverFever
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  • BeaverFever changed the title to Ontario to allow more booze sold in grocery, big box and convenience stores, $225M subsidy for The Beer Store

Im all for the booze at grocery store and big box stores but I don’t trust convenience stores to sell responsibly. My past experience as a teenage smoker and an under-21 drinker in the US tells me convenience stores can never be trusted with alcohol sales. 
 

Of course the real agenda is being driven by the private interests who want to eventually take over the LCBO, which I hope never happens. Go to Quebec or Alberta or any place in the US where you can buy booze on every street corner, and you usually find that the selection is terrible, usually just the same collection of mediocre high-margin mass market products like Coors Light, Budweiser etc. Thats great if you’re a teenager or an undiscerning consumer but those who want quality end up having to go just as far out of their way to find superior quality. In Alberta when they privatized the liquor market prices went way up because its now dominated by smaller retailers who can’t achieve the same efficiencies of scale and people still complain about lack of selection , there are more retail locations but most offer similar limited selection. In Quebec I also observed far less selection of liquor in the provincially owned SAQ, which doesn’t even sell beer, presumably because such a big chunk of the alcohol market is privatized so they also lose scale.  For beer, cider and coolers I was stuck popping in and out of every “depanneur” corner store I passed , usually disappointed at the lack of appealing options.   Long live the LCBO. 

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I wouldn't mind seeing the entire market for booze open up so we could actually have some real competition for a change. Why not let businesses like Walmart or Costco sell booze?

Governments do not always know what's best.

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3 hours ago, ironstone said:

I wouldn't mind seeing the entire market for booze open up so we could actually have some real competition for a change.

You guys love to fall for that 'free enterprise' myth every time, don't you?

They'll all buy from one central agency warehouse. Your "competition" will be to pay 50¢ more at store A or $1 more at Store B. And your kids will love it when those non-union store workers don't get paid enough to care if they're fired for not checking ID.
But then again you'll have a better selection of crappy beers and shitty wines as that's what the street winos guzzle. Lots of those 24oz can displays they can come in and buy one can at a time after a couple hours mooching on the street.

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Be like my grandson. His favourite beer is $1 less at this beer store, his Dad's Gibsons is $1.50 less at the one the other end of town. But he goes to the LCB as it's across the street and not as busy.
Or the guys here, it's already cold at the Beer Store. $3 sic pack more and they drove to it in a pickup truck a -20C.

Not condemning private stores, just pointing out it's not such a progress. It's great to see Ontario finally entering the 1980s...

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5 hours ago, herbie said:

You guys love to fall for that 'free enterprise' myth every time, don't you?

They'll all buy from one central agency warehouse. Your "competition" will be to pay 50¢ more at store A or $1 more at Store B. And your kids will love it when those non-union store workers don't get paid enough to care if they're fired for not checking ID.
But then again you'll have a better selection of crappy beers and shitty wines as that's what the street winos guzzle. Lots of those 24oz can displays they can come in and buy one can at a time after a couple hours mooching on the street.

Free enterprise works and competition is good. Of course governments usually love to get in the way.

When I was in Germany years ago I went into one of their big chain stores which if I recall was called Globus. I was blown away while walking down a few aisles of booze and couldn't believe the great selection and low prices.

What is it with you guys that love monopolies that always have to have overpaid union employees?

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45 minutes ago, ironstone said:

Free enterprise works and competition is good. Of course governments usually love to get in the way.

When I was in Germany years ago I went into one of their big chain stores which if I recall was called Globus. I was blown away while walking down a few aisles of booze and couldn't believe the great selection and low prices.

What is it with you guys that love monopolies that always have to have overpaid union employees?

That german experience may have more to do with a lack of insane tax rates than competition 🙂

I do prefer to see competition. But at the end of the day if you actually care about the price of beer that much you should just make your own

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18 hours ago, ironstone said:

Free enterprise works and competition is good. Of course governments usually love to get in the way.

See what I mean fall for it every time? Don't look at a gas station. Don't get a cell phone or look for cable/satellite TV or internet access.

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On 5/26/2024 at 9:14 AM, BeaverFever said:

Im all for the booze at grocery store and big box stores but I don’t trust convenience stores to sell responsibly. My past experience as a teenage smoker and an under-21 drinker in the US tells me convenience stores can never be trusted with alcohol sales. 
 

Of course the real agenda is being driven by the private interests who want to eventually take over the LCBO, which I hope never happens. Go to Quebec or Alberta or any place in the US where you can buy booze on every street corner, and you usually find that the selection is terrible, usually just the same collection of mediocre high-margin mass market products like Coors Light, Budweiser etc. Thats great if you’re a teenager or an undiscerning consumer but those who want quality end up having to go just as far out of their way to find superior quality. In Alberta when they privatized the liquor market prices went way up because its now dominated by smaller retailers who can’t achieve the same efficiencies of scale and people still complain about lack of selection , there are more retail locations but most offer similar limited selection. In Quebec I also observed far less selection of liquor in the provincially owned SAQ, which doesn’t even sell beer, presumably because such a big chunk of the alcohol market is privatized so they also lose scale.  For beer, cider and coolers I was stuck popping in and out of every “depanneur” corner store I passed , usually disappointed at the lack of appealing options.   Long live the LCBO. 

I am looking forward to the day when we can finally see any business that wants to sell beer, wine or spirits in their stores. Only the government liquor stores and pubs can legally sell booze in BC. Yet, there are some places in some out of the way places that are allowed to sell booze in corner stores. So, why not stores in the cities? 

When i go across the American border into Blaine, Washington, I can buy booze in grocery stores, drug stores, big box stores, corner stores and even gas stations. BC still has a long way to go before they finally enter the 21st century and allow the selling of booze in any outlet anywhere in the province. As long as the NDP are in power we will probably never see that day come anytime soon. The government liquor stores and ICBC needs to be privatized now. Works for me. 

 

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Another waste of tax payer money in nanny-state Canada.

In Europe, you'll even find a wall sized cooler at a gas station full of beer. Oddly enough, they have less DUI issues.

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Posted (edited)

Many gas stations and convenience stores literally sell crack pipes at the counter and they hose businesses as a whole have an abysmal track record of selling cigarettes to kids and therefore has no business being gatekeepers for alcohol. I also don’t want to see every neighbourhood corner store turn into an hangout for every local hobo and street urchin who has managed to scrape up a couple of toonies for a tallboy of Colt 45. 
 

The Canadian experience tells us that atomization of the liquor market leads to higher prices and less selection. Nonetheless I’m all for competition and convenience from large corporate retailers who can operate at scale and who can implement the appropriate controls, and whose staff have no incentive to sell to underage or intoxicated people. 
 

The Beer Store I could care less about. Thanks to corporate mergers its become the private retail outlet of the Big 3 global brewers who basically use their government-mandated near-monopoly to shut out everyone else. Its demise is long overdue. 

Edited by BeaverFever
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16 hours ago, exPS said:

In Europe, you'll even find a wall sized cooler at a gas station full of beer

In the States too. Along with drive-thru liquor stores. Convenience and profit over the public good in every case, right?
Been to towns in Alberta with a church and a beer store on every corner, more than one on some. Had 3 beer & wine stores plus the LCB and an outlet (rural stores around forever licensed by the LCB) at one point.
So the guy with the most money bought out the other two. That's "competition".

And now winos can buy a tallboy on Christmas Day from a kid earning as little as legally possible. At least in 2024 it isn't like the movies where they go in and shoot everyone to rob them only of enough cash to break a $50...

Edited by herbie
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On 5/28/2024 at 4:31 AM, exPS said:

Another waste of tax payer money in nanny-state Canada.

In Europe, you'll even find a wall sized cooler at a gas station full of beer. Oddly enough, they have less DUI issues.

Exactly how is allowing businesses selling beer, wines and, liquors a waste of tax payers money???

You can in the US too. You can in Quebec too.

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1 hour ago, ExFlyer said:

Exactly how is allowing businesses selling beer, wines and, liquors a waste of tax payers money???

You can in the US too. You can in Quebec too.

I think you may have misread that - I think he's saying that having the government handle liquor distribution is a waste of the taxpayers money. I could see how you'd read it the way you did but I'm pretty sure he was agreeing with you

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On 5/28/2024 at 2:31 AM, exPS said:

Another waste of tax payer money in nanny-state Canada.

In Europe, you'll even find a wall sized cooler at a gas station full of beer. Oddly enough, they have less DUI issues.

Not that odd when you consider how much more North Americans drive than Europeans.

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On 5/28/2024 at 1:31 AM, exPS said:

Another waste of tax payer money in nanny-state Canada.

In Europe, you'll even find a wall sized cooler at a gas station full of beer. Oddly enough, they have less DUI issues.

Why is the government always trying to subsidy's some big corporations? If the big boys cannot make it on their own, then let them go broke or go smaller and allow the free enterprise ma and pa stores to do the job. Our governments are suppose to be their to protect the rights and freedoms of their citizen's and protect us from criminals. The government should not be in the business of running a business. We truly are living in a nanny-state here in Canada. 👎

When i first moved to BC, all i could see is empty beer bottles and cans lying around everywhere. No doubt due to the ancient archaic liquor laws in BC at the time. I traveled a lot in Washington state and i never saw beer bottles or cans on their roads. No doubt due to their lax laws on liquor laws. But since EXPO 86, some liquor laws had to be changed and modernized to welcome the rest of the world. At one time here in BC, a pub was only allowed to have one TV in their establishment. How ridiculous is that?  

I think that it will be a long time before we even get to be able to buy liquor in a grocery store, never mind at a gas station. I guess that this is what socialism is all about. Government knows best. 😁😁

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Posted (edited)

Doug Ford attacked over possible $1 billion price tag for liberalized booze sales

Ford is defending his decision to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to liberalize alcohol sales a little more than a year earlier than scheduled.

While Ford maintains it will cost $225 million to end the ”master framework agreement” this fall with The Beer Store, owned by Labatt, Molson and Sleeman, critics argue the tab could ultimately be three or four times higher.


That’s due to an additional $375 million in rebates to The Beer Store as well as foregone tax revenue and a 10 per cent discount for the retailers that will buy products from the LCBO, which could cost the provincial liquor monopoly $150 million a year.

 

..NDP Leader Marit Stiles said “people are shaking their heads at this terrible deal” at a time when more than 2.3 million Ontarians can’t find a family doctor.

“A billion dollars to get out of a deal that was going to expire in a year? Something doesn’t smell right about this. We know it, the people of Ontario know it. We’re not going to stop fighting to find out more,” said Stiles.
 

 

…Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie said all Ontarians should be paying attention to Ford’s booze gambit since they are footing the bill.

“Let’s be very clear what’s happening here ... taxpayers’ money is being used to expedite a deal one year,” said Crombie, adding Ford is “using your money whether you believe the numbers are $225 million (and) I think they’re closer to $1 billion ... it’s your money.”

 

https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/terrible-deal-doug-ford-attacked-over-possible-1-billion-price-tag-for-liberalized-booze-sales/article_90b481e4-21bf-11ef-a6f2-6f0733e31613.html?utm_source=newsshowcase&utm_medium=gnews&utm_campaign=CDAQxIyh2P3knqIoGIGd2K_igcqguAEqDggAKgYICjDptXgw98kM&utm_content=rundown&gaa_at=g&gaa_n=ARTJ-U-KmA6vmS50aaWVstVBHSfSSrRgGy2j1rsVhyGyCGgQNMqxW8k2tBjCrPjCZtu0Tn0WTBcwRg%3D%3D&gaa_ts=665e82cf&gaa_sig=52-vRsALYKhbyA9yNqGCj09tMiwUx5IZQ_e56Z8fsUBRk4oIwE3C27fvlRNqi8FD4qLPdIvbBlKgKiHIedxgqA%3D%3D

Edited by BeaverFever
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Posted (edited)

I guess time will tell whether it’s a quarter billion as Doug claims, or a billion but given that this same promise could be done for at least a quarter billion LESS a year from now, as at least the Beer Store subsidies wouldn’t be necessary, is this money well spent?

Edited by BeaverFever
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On 5/29/2024 at 4:47 PM, Black Dog said:

Not that odd when you consider how much more North Americans drive than Europeans.

Spent a lot of time doing business in Europe and can say they drive as much as we do....and in many cases, much faster.

Can also say, I saw a lot less police over there too. Seems police revenue generation is more important here.

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