Warren Thomas, president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is calling on the Province to crack down on private stores illegally selling alcohol during the early hours of the morning.
“We’ve got the receipts showing that private convenience and grocery stores have been selling to people very early in the morning, and it’s got to stop,” Thomas said in a news release.
“The LCBO has a long, proud history of responsible sales and the government should be doing everything it can to encourage Ontarians to shop LCBO. And retailers flouting the law should immediately lose the privilege of selling alcohol. No ifs, ands, or buts,” he continued.
Thomas is also urging the LCBO to return to regular store hours, which would mean reopening on Mondays.
“With the majority of Ontario moving to Stage 3 of the reopening, it’s time to reopen LCBO stores on Mondays,” he said. “Closing them might have made sense early in the pandemic, but now it’s time for the LCBO to return to its regular hours.”
Thomas cited responsible sales, as well as the financial benefits that would come from the LCBO returning to regular hours.
“The people of Ontario lose big money every Monday that LCBO stores remain closed,” he said. “The ever-expanding number of grocery stores and privatized LCBO ‘convenience outlets’ are all selling alcohol on Mondays. And for every bottle they sell, rich CEOs like Galen Weston are skimming profits that would otherwise have been invested in our long-term care facilities, hospitals, and homeless shelters.”
The union has been warning provincial governments for years about the costs of alcohol privatization.
“We’re sick and tired of seeing our government privatizing alcohol sales bit by bit,” Colleen MacLeod, chair of OPSEU’s Liquor Board Employees Division, said in the same release.
“We’re incredibly proud that we help return more than $2 billion in profits a year to the people of Ontario. We’re also proud of our excellent record of responsible sales and customer satisfaction. And we proudly served on the front line through incredibly difficult times. We are calling on our government to support us as the province moves toward some semblance of normalcy,” she continued.