This holiday season, many local residents - of legal age - will exchange gifts bought at either the local LCBO or Beer Store, but it appears that nothing can match the gift that continues to be given by the provincial government to the privately-run Beer Store.
In a scathing investigation published earlier this week by the Toronto Star, details emerged about the cushiest of deals cooked up in mid-2000 by the Tory government of the day, and kept up through the years by the Liberal government to ensure the continued flow of profits away from the government-run LCBO, and into the pockets of the largely foreign-based brewers who pocket the profits from the cartel otherwise known as Brewer’s Retail Inc. (the Beer Store’s formal corporate moniker).
For reasons presumed to be keeping the lobbyists - who funnel millions of dollars into campaign coffers for the Liberal and Conservative governments alike - happy, the LCBO has wilfully shied away from selling anything larger than a six-pack, as well as not selling certain brands of beer to bars and restaurants in order to protect profits for breweries.
It’s estimated that profits from the LCBO would jump close to $1 billion with the introduction of 12 and 24-packs, as well as all brands of beer being offered to the food service industry. Those badly-needed funds could be put towards schools, hospitals, roads and bridges instead of corporations based in Belgium (Labatt’s) the United States (Molson-Coors) and Japan (Sleeman).
With a $1 billion in potential revenue sitting out there for the betterment of all residents of Ontario, we have to ask what the government is drinking not to take advantage?
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