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Government pouring out plans for more booze on more shelves

Nearly 300 more stores in Ontario – including some in the Quinte area – will be selling wine, cider and beer by next spring

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith said Thursday that new local LCBO Convenience Outlets locations in the riding and neighbouring areas of Carrying Place, Wooler, Shannonville, Bayside, Foxboro, Roslin and Kaladar have been named eligible. The communities are among approximately 200 underserviced communities identified by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) as it expands its agency store program.

Under the process, the LCBO will release a request for proposals in each new community and all businesses applicants that meet requirements will be entered into a lottery to win the local authorization. Up to 60 stores are expected to open in August, up to 150 by December, and the additional stores are slated to open in spring 2020.

“This is good news for consumers looking to purchase their favourite drinks closer to home,” Smith said. “It also provides an opportunity for economic development in our rural communities and greater reach and visibility for craft beer, wine and cider producers across Ontario and right in our backyard.”

Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli announced another 87 grocery stores will be allowed to sell alcohol in September, bringing the total to 450 across the province. Interested grocers can apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to enter a lottery process for authorization. Successful grocers entering into a wholesale supply agreement with the LCBO will be expected to start selling beverage alcohol in September.

Thursday the provincial government also passed a bill to end a 10-year agreement with The Beer Store that limits the number of stores that can sell alcohol. The bill has not yet been proclaimed into law and negotiations continue with brewers who own The Beer Store.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has warned Fideli that terminating the contract with The Beer Store “is a short-sighted approach.”

Hastings Prince Edward Health this week also called on the province to reconsider policies that increase access to alcohol.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Phil Norton says:

    Increased access to alcohol, the Government knows that’s probably what most people want. Look at all of the Facebook profile pictures smiling with drinks in hand. Look at the youth sports events sponsored by beer companies. Ontarians elected Trump, I mean for Ford. Apparently, out of all of the social, economic and environmental issues problems that we face, access to alcohol is the priority for Ontario. Have a great summer recess MPP’s and let’s hope your children are not victims of a DUI.

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