"Despite studies that indicate a private retail system would increase government revenue by eliminating the cost of operating retail outlets and does not lead to problems with alcohol consumption, there is very little political will to make changes.
The opposition to change is steadfast even when the beliefs about the dangers of a private system are debunked by a government study. The Ontario government rejected the findings of a $600,000 study it commissioned in 2005, the same day the report was issued.
The Beverage Alcohol System Review panel concluded the province could generate an extra $200-million annually, enough to build a new 300-bed hospital each year, if the government allowed private retailers to sell alcohol. A private system would increase choice and lower prices for consumers."
Granted, "it would generate more government revenue" is my least favourite argument for any changes to government policy - just more money for to fund the "idle hands" projects of governments in almost every case... but I'll go with it if it will get the job done.
Life would be more convenient, prices would be better for consumers, and comparisons to other systems suggest there would be no real effect on liquor consumption - Nova Scotia has the highest alcohol consumption in the country... and the most stringent liquor laws. New York state has 8 times the liquor stores and nearly the same alcohol consumption as Ontario.
And is anyone really naive enough to think that the liqour control board of Ontario (sounds a lot less appealing than "LCBO," doesn't it?) stops underage drinking?
What would seem more Canadian than to celebrate July 1st with a trip to the grocery store to pick up some meat for the BBQ and a six pack or some coolers for the fridge? It's time to end this antiquated and draconian practice across Canada. In the words of a Alabaman activists' group, "free the hops!"