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The Government of Ontario hopes to move forward with selling beer in corner stores and big-box retailers

The Government of Ontario is in the process of finalizing their budget, and part of that includes a review of alcohol sales. As part of that process, the Progressive Conservative government is hoping to push ahead with alcohol review in order to sell beer in corner stores.

“Premier (Doug) Ford has said it over and over. He’s going to put beer in small corner stores, more grocers, and big-box stores and we are working towards that.” Ontario Convenience Stores Association President Dave Bryans explains to the Toronto Star. “If there’s ever a time for change, when it comes to the duopoly controlling alcohol and beer, now is the time.” Bryans also told the Star that he hopes to be “cutting the ribbon” on alcohol in corner stores by fall.

Part of Ontario’s review would include determining if allowing alcohol sales in big-box retailers and corner stores is possible. Last week, Ontario finance minister Vic Fedeli appointed Ken Hughes for the newly created role of Special Advisor for the Beverage Alcohol Review, and part of his job will be to “modernize” Ontario’s alcohol sales by putting forward new choices for stores that sell alcohol, according to a press release.

A few grocery stores now sell alcohol, but further expanding alcohol sales outside of the LCBO and Beer Store would line up with other provinces like Quebec and Alberta.

The province’s budget, which could feature the alcohol sales review, is due on April 11th.

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