While the Doug Ford government has received a great deal of criticism for its alcohol-heavy agenda, it’s not wrong to suggest that many Ontario residents have long wanted the province to modernize liquor sales.
And now, it looks like alcohol could be sold in corner stores sooner rather than later.
The Ontario government recently announced it has appointed a special advisor for alcohol review. According to the province, Ken Hughes will be taking on newly created role of special advisor for the Beverage Alcohol Review.
Hughes will provide advice to the Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, on how the government can modernize Ontario’s beverage alcohol system.
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The province says Hughes will also serve as a principal in negotiations with alcohol stakeholders and work closely with the policy teams to develop proposals and guide implementation.
Ideally, the end result will be alcoholic beverages on corner store shelves–something the Ford government promised back in May 2018.
“Alcohol reform is something long-desired by the people of Ontario. Today, we’re moving another step forward on our promise to improve customer choice and convenience and enable more opportunities for businesses in the beverage alcohol sector,” said Fedeli.
“Ken brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Special Advisor for the Beverage Alcohol Review. We look forward to working with him on designing our plan to expand the sale of alcohol into corner, grocery and big box stores.”
While selling alcohol in corner stores will be brand new territory for the province, the move to modernize alcohol sales started under the previous government when select grocers became eligible to sell wine, beer and cider.
Prior to that, only the LCBO, Beer Store and wineries, cideries and breweries were permitted to sell alcoholic beverages.
Since being elected in June, the Ford government has allowed alcohol retailers to sell alcohol from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. The government also brought back Buck-a-beer.