Monday, April 27, 2009

PC leadership hopefuls on the Beer Store's distribution monopoly

The-beer-store-791533As reported earlier today, Randy Hillier has promised that as premier he would end the Beer Store's monopoly on distribution and would allow corner stores to sell beer and wine.

It's too bad that there isn't talk of also ending the province's liqour monopoly, but frankly this is a politically smart way to breach the subject.

As Hillier points out, the Beer Store is actually a government-sanctioned monopoly owned by foreign companies. The foreign ownership doesn't much concern me, but it does bring into question why the Beer Store's monopoly isn't questioned more often by those who it does concern.

What is outrageous is that the Beer Store's monopoly status forces any microbreweries or new beers trying to make it into Ontario to allow their competitors to do their distribution and marketing. Think of the incentives this creates!

William Joseph reported this weekend that Christine Elliott has also expressed some enthusiasm for privatizing liquor sales (though we can assume this would be bound by her commitment to the party's policy process) and that, unfortunately, Tim Hudak did not share her enthusiasm. Still waiting to hear if Frank Klees has a position on this issue - I have it on good authority that his team is working hard and policy announcements can probably be expected soon.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

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