Selling alcohol in hundreds of new privately-owned LCBO Convenience Outlets (previously Agency Stores) and hundreds of grocery stores is bad for Ontario.
Private stores take money away from our valuable public services and put it in the pockets of wealthy storeowners. They increase the risk of alcohol getting into the hands of kids. And they put enormous pressure on our health care system, increasing wait times and hallway medicine.
The Ford government’s plan to sell alcohol in thousands of corner stores will make all this even worse.
Three important reasons to keep the LCBO public
The LCBO pays for vital public services
Profits from traditional LCBO stores pump billions of dollars a year into building better schools, hospitals and other valuable public services. Owners of LCBO Convenience Outlets put ten cents of every dollar you spend into their pockets and billionaire grocery store owners also skim a percentage of every sale.
The LCBO can be trusted to protect kids
Recent polling has shown that Ontarians are 12 times more likely to choose the LCBO over private stores to keep beer and wine out of the hands of kids. Private stores are motivated by profits and want to sell more alcohol to more people. LCBO workers turn away hundreds of thousands of kids and intoxicated people every year and receive ongoing training to protect the public.
Private alcohol sales threaten our access to quality health care
Research1 shows that once Ontario started selling alcohol in grocery stores, there were over 24,000 more people admitted to emergency rooms than in the two years before. If alcohol sales continue to expand this will mean longer ER wait times, higher costs, and more alcohol use, illness and deaths.
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1 – Myran DT, Chen JT, Giesbrecht N, Rees VW. The association between alcohol access and alcohol‐attributable emergency department visits in Ontario, Canada. Addiction. 2019 Mar 29. DOI: 10.1111/add.14597