According to the Toronto Star, roughly 60% of people in Ontario think that the Beer Store is government owned. Most also think high Ontario beer prices are from provincial taxes. Only about a year ago did I actually research the situation – graphic above tells all. Of all things that us Ontarians complain about, I rarely hear the beer card come into play, maybe because seconds after one pays for their beer, they are just happy to feel heavy folded cardboard holes on their hands. Definitely seems like high prices are due to more board games than bureaucracy.
What I don’t fully understand is how isn’t this a political goldmine to decentralize beer retail? The public definitely wants the added convenience of Quebec style dépanneur beer purchasing, not to mention a less monopolized selection of Labatt black ice crystal light lime. More stores selling beer would mean more competitive prices for consumers too. Wouldn’t Dalton McGuinty be chair hoisted and mozeltoffed in perpetuity? The only thing that I can think of is that the big brewers are paying off government in one way or the other – sponsoring cultural events or maybe just straight up coffer lining.
The argument that having beer in convenience stores is less secure seems fishy to me too. Convenience stores have security cameras just like the beer store. They would also enforce proper hours for sale, just like Quebec.
Looks like this was a big issue last year from the Star staff, people are buzzing. Go to FreeOurBeer.Org for some info.