The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) has recently started circulating a petition in hopes of getting the Ontario Government to change its stance on selling beer and liquor only in gov’t run stores like the LCBO and the Beer Store. They hope to be able to present the Ontario Government with a million signatures in the near future to show just how popular the idea has become among average Ontarians. Isn’t it about time gov’t in Ontario loosened the grip on law abiding adults in this province?
As it stands now, Ontario’s highly successful Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) sells beer, wine, and hard alcohol (though The Beer Store has the market on beer sales, and private wine stores are allowed to sell wine).
A poll petitioned by the OCSA in 2011, found that over 60 per cent of Ontarian’s want the convenience of being able to purchase liquor at their neighbourhood corner store. According to their CEO Dave Bryans, convenience store operators already responsibly sell cigarettes and lottery tickets, both age-restricted products, and are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. So why are people in this province not being afforded the right and convenience that our neighbours in Quebec have enjoyed for years?
The answer is simple, money. It goes without saying that alcohol sales are big business. In the province of Ontario alone, $9.5 billion were funneled through the LCBO and Beer Store into gov’t coffers. That’s a lot of reasons to hold onto the present system. But at least come clean with us and tell us the real reason don’t disguise it as you’re being socially responsible and doing the “right thing” by keeping the reins on liquor sales in this province. Call it what it is, another way of taxing people of this province.
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has waded in on the conversation saying that the increased accessibility will lead to more drunk drivers on the road, as well as underage drinkers. Have we really come to this as a society that we need to have rules in place for everything? That, because of the irresponsibility of the few, the many must suffer. What has happened to individual accountability? We have become a province of children that must have rules in place for every action, so that we don’t get out of line, and if we do, we’ll quickly make a rule for that as well.
I doubt this will get any further than any of the many other attempts at changing the liquor laws have in the past. There is just too much money to be made to change the will of the present government, because at the end of the day the almighty buck is what rules the land not the wishes of its people.