Dec 13, 2023
By Jane Brown
We’re getting some details on Premier Doug Ford’s plans to allow Ontarians to buy beer and wine in more outlets by 2026.
A Toronto Star report also says The Beer Store will remain in charge of recycling and distribution.
The premier is said to be wary of some 6-thousand unionized jobs being lost if 440 Beer Store locations were closed across the province, so Doug Ford has reportedly agreed to a new provisional deal that will see the brewers’ retailer, majority owned by Labatt and Molson Coors, continue operating as it has since 1927.
Under the terms, the firm will control distribution of beer and retain responsibility for recycling until 2031 with its stand alone stores staying open until at least 2033.
In exchange, all Ontario supermarkets, big box stores, corner stores, and gas stations that sell food and snacks will be eligible to apply for licenses to sell beer, wine and premixed cocktails in cans or bottles, including 12 and 24 packs.
Cabinet ministers will apparently finalize the changes Wednesday with both the premier and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy unveiling the reforms at a Toronto convenience store Thursday.