Premier Ford Has Not Given Up on Bringing Beer, Wine to Ontario Convenience Stores

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Premier Doug Ford has renewed his 2018 promise of making beer and wine available at convenience stores. At a press conference for unrelated news, Ford shared that his government has not forgotten about the promise and is working towards it.

Doug Ford promised during his first provincial election campaign to bring certain alcoholic beverages to corner stores across Ontario. It has been five years since and there has been no action on this. While present at a news conference, Ford was asked by a reporter about the delay in this and he responded by saying that the government has not given up on the plan and would “fulfill that promise.”

“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,” he said.

Despite the bill to allow The Beer Store’s expansion being passed, the Master Framework agreement between The Beer Store and the provincial government is still in place. The deal requires The Beer Store’s three owners – Molson Coors, Labatt Brewing Company (Anheuser-Busch), and Sleeman Breweries (Sapporo Breweries) – to inject $100 million into the operation. In return, the province was given the ability to expand beer and wine sales into 450 grocery stores.

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This deal will stay in place till 2025.

Ford said that while he is not in favor of the monopoly that The Beer Store has, he is aware of the contract. “But I have to be aware that there is a contract with The Beer Store. We’re going to be working with them,” he said.

As of now, about 450 grocery stores across Ontario sell beer and cider, including about 225 that can sell wine.

Vineet Washington


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