The province's corner stores say they have the perfect idea to showcase local wine and beer without touching the LCBO's profits.
They came to Queen's Park today to unveil their commitment to dedicate around 30 per cent of shelf space to local alcohol.
But Dave Bryans of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association says he doesn't know if these local brewers or wineries will be on board. He says he plans to speak with them soon.
And even though the province hasn't given them a nod to say this idea is worth considering, Bryans says governments have been known to change their minds.
He says the key, is to open the dialogue.
Some recognizable names who have committed to this plan include 7-Eleven, Mac's and Petro-Canada.
Bryans says this won't cut into the LCBO's profit since it makes the majority of its money as an alcohol wholesaler. He claims with more competition, government revenue will actually increase.
Not everyone is on board with this idea, however.
The union representing LCBO employees says jobs will be lost if corner stores are allowed to sell alcohol.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) spokesperson Greg Hamara contends this is all in an effort to replace "good retail jobs" with those that pay minimum wage.
Hamara contends that along with LCBO cuts, the retail arm of the Beer Store will be "devastated."
He adds the LCBO does a much better job at checking the IDs for those who look under age.
President of the Wine Council of Ontario Hilary Dawson calls it troublesome that no one came to them with this plan.
Dawson says this whole thing feels improvised, underlining the Council has never been behind sales of VQA wines in corner stores. She says they prefer the privately-owned shop approach.
She also says that she is not confident corner stores will properly ID minors who try to buy Ontario wines.
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