Ontario banks on the LCBO.

That banker is back. Do you remember Ed Clark? He was the guy from TD Bank who advised Premier Kathleen Wynne to sell off Ontario’s Hydro One electricity distribution system. Remember how that got the Wynne government in trouble?

This Clark is the same guy who told Wynne that she could distribute beer and wine through the larger grocery stores. Remember the pain of gradually getting some booze in grocery stores.

The bad news about the few grocery stores selling beer and wine is that they are told how to do it by the LCBO—an organization that does not appear to know anything about pricing, merchandising, convenience, customer service, store design, or giving the customer an even break. If the grocery industry in Ontario had any guts, they would tell the government to take all the rules and regulations laid on them by the LCBO for them to sell beer and wine, roll them up and stick them where the sun does not shine.

And to think that the LCBO has been charged to start retailing marijuana to the gullible Ontario public in less than six months. This is adding insult to injury. It is not connected to the liquor operations and it is no corner store operation. Somehow there are supposed to be 14 pot stores in all of Ontario by July 1, 2018.

And just guess who is going to be running this Keystone Kops operation? None other than Premier Wynne’s good buddy, Ed Clark. He has just been made chair of the LCBO. And he says he is doing the job for a loonie a year—which might be more than he is worth!.

And standing on the sidelines, cheering Mr. Clark on is another former banker, finance minister Charles Sousa. Sousa is quoted as saying that Clark is also a retailer because he comes from TD Bank “that changed the face of banking in (Canada).”

Last year one of our local TD branches moved to a new plaza near Georgian College in Barrie. It started out looking like a nice little bank. We were delighted to see that it lacked the usual cattle pen to line up the retail customers and everybody commented and congratulated the staff. The customers got in line anyway. Last week we saw that a cattle pen had been added. TD Bank changes nothing!

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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