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?