Premier Doug Ford might soon be quenching the thirst of Ontarians by bringing beer and wine to convenience stores province-wide.
During a press conference on Monday, the Ontario premier was asked by a reporter about a 2018 campaign pledge where he promised the public he would allow the sale of wine and beer at Ontario at Ontario convenience stores — a promise that has not come to fruition.
Ford said his government had not given up on the plan.
“We’re going to fulfill that promise — we have extended it tremendously since we have been in office,” he told the reporter. “Our goal is to make sure that there’s beer and wine sold in the big retailers…and the convenience stores. We need to have convenience for the consumer.”
This news comes following the recent decision by Toronto city council who voted in favour of a motion to develop a pilot program that permits personal alcohol consumption in select parks sprint the upcoming summer season.
In 2019, the provincial government passed a bill to eliminate a 10-year agreement with The Beer Store, which was initially implemented by the previous Liberal government in 2015 to restrict expansion.
Known as the Master Framework Agreement, it outlines an agreement made by the Beer Store’s three owners — Labatt, Molson and Sleeman — to pledge $100 million to the operation, and in return, the province would gain the opportunity to expand beer and wine sales into 450 grocery stores.
This deal stills stands and will remain in effect until 2025.
“A lot of people are of the misunderstanding that The Beer Stores are owned by the government. They aren’t. They’re owned by three massive beer companies — foreign may I add — foreign beer companies, and I just don’t think that monopoly’s right,” Ford said in an interview.
“But I have to be aware that there is a contract with The Beer Store,” Ford said. “We’re going to be working with them.”
Under Ford’s administration, numerous supermarket giants including Loblaws and Metro have stated to sell alcohol, offering a variety of wines, beers and ciders in hundreds of locations across the province.