Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

April 03, 2007 14:54 ET

OPSEU Calls on McGuinty to Live Up to His Own Words, and Phase Out Private LCBO Agency Stores

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 3, 2007) - The union representing LCBO employees welcomed Premier McGuinty's comments today regarding the sale of beer and wine in corner stores, and challenged him to go one better.

McGuinty said today that Ontario parents "...enjoy the fact that they feel tremendous confidence knowing it is really tough, if you are underage in Ontario, to buy wine or beer or liquor through the LCBO or a beer store," and that corner stores should not be able to sell alcohol, especially in the light of the lottery scandal.

"We have news for the Premier," said Leah Casselman, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "Corner stores are selling alcohol all over this province."

OPSEU last week released a report which said the LCBO is losing more than $73-million a year in sales and $16-million in profits by allowing private "agency stores" to sell alcohol in small and mid-sized Ontario communities.

The union said that the LCBO should phase out the agency store program in many larger, growing communities where sales and profits would support a stand-alone LCBO store.

Replacing 60 to 90 agency stores with publicly-owned LCBO outlets would mean an additional $250 million to $340 million in net provincial government revenue over the next 10 years, the report said.

"LCBO stores are the most socially responsible way to sell alcohol in this province, and we're glad the Premier agrees with us," said Casselman. "That's why we're asking him to replace private agency stores with real LCBO outlets, wherever it is financially feasible to do so."

Agency stores are private businesses that are licenced to sell alcohol in grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail outlets in about 200 communities approved by the provincial government. In May 2006, the McGuinty government announced plans to open another 20 agency stores.

OPSEU represents more than 6,000 unionized LCBO employees.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    David Cox
    1-800-268-7376 x 8314