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Ontario wants to allow convenience stores selling alcohol

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Prime Minister Doug Ford promised during the election campaign to 2018 to authorize the sale of beer in convenience stores. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford will finally fulfill his 2018 election promise to allow the sale of alcohol in convenience stores, according to CBC sources. The reform would end the Beer Store's near-monopoly, in addition to possibly expanding the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores.

The alcohol market is worth nearly $10 billion in Ontario.

The sale of beer and wine is still largely limited to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the private consortium The Beer Store.

According to CBC sources, Doug Ford's government should, however, inform The Beer Store in December that it intends to end its framework agreement with the consortium, which is due to end in 2025.

Would then begin a two-year transition to a more liberalized market, including the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores.

It is in the fundamental interest of Ontarians and the province's convenience stores to prevent a monopoly in [alcohol] distribution.

A quote from Industry Council of Canada convenience stores (written statement)

Supermarkets and other retailers would like to be able to sell alcohol in more branches.

Only 450 supermarkets in the province are currently authorized to do so, according to the provincial agreement with The Beer Store.

The aim of the framework agreement [with The Beer Store] has never been to offer choice, convenience or good prices to consumers. It aims to protect the interests of large brewers.

A quote from Michelle Wasylyshen, spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada

From For their part, wine and beer producers would like the government to reduce its taxes and the LCBO's profit margin, to keep a larger share of the pie.

The province has been consulting for several months on industry reform.

According to information provided by CBC News

's Mike Crawley

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