A crying towel for the Beer Store.

The Ontario government must be serious about Doug Ford’s promise to open up beer and wine sales in Ontario. We have both the Beer Store management (at Brewers Warehousing) and the Beer Store union paying for TV spots complaining about possible lost jobs. I wonder why? This is an opportunity for more jobs with the company, not less. To suggest that as many as 7000 unionized jobs at the Beer Store are at risk is a flat-out lie.

To begin with, there is the need for practically doubling the current distribution capability of the Beer Store. That means building new distribution nodes and hiring staff and more drivers. Why would any other company be given the right to distribute to as many as another 10,000 convenience stores, large box stores and grocery stores. It would likely make the Beer Store the largest distribution company in Ontario, if not Canada.

Secondly, the Beer Store organization could also become the largest recycling operation in Canada. Sales at all those LCBO, grocery, big box and convenience stores would stream back to the Beer Store for recycling. Some of the stores could keep their two-four business as a side line but could do far more recycling. They might even learn to do a better job of it.

Ontario citizens know that the current government at Queen’s Park would have little understanding of what is required to back up the needs of expanded retail systems. After the thrill of watching the government look stupid trying to get marijuana retailing off the ground in Ontario, we know this will not be the problem with beer and wine. We have a reasonably good distribution system in place and all we have to do is look at doubling it.

Just why the province would be paying some guy from Alberta $1000 per day to tell them how to do this, is a tough question. Maybe he could go back to Alberta and teach that province to do a better job in booze distribution with what he learns in Ontario.

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