The Star soldiers on with Regg Cohn.

The Toronto Star must have made its provincial affairs writer Martin Regg Cohn point man for the newspaper’s war against demon rum. Ontario used to have the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union to fight the good fight but the WCTU of today lacks the funds and caring. And, frankly, the Star might have taken its current position because Ontario premier Doug Ford is on the other side.

There seems to be a consensus today that premier Ford is the guy to boo. Regg Cohn must have searched long and hard to find the purported Ford Nation supporter, he told us about the other day. This guy, who thinks Doug’s late crack-cocaine smoking brother Rob was “Friggin’ great,” is supposedly from Barrie. His ride is supposed to be a Yamaha motor bike. This guy, who sounds as though he could not count to a dozen with his shoes on, says he sent an e-mail to Doug Ford asking him not to spend money on breaking a contract with the big Ontario brewers.

Regg Cohn seems to think this guy is so dumb, he would worry about the Ontario government having to pay money to foreign-owned brewers to let convenience stores sell beer. It makes you wonder who is the dumber? Does nobody understand what the three large brewers would be risking in suing the Ontario government? This is about a four billion-dollar beer market and I have no idea what the recycling nets the Beer Store but that might not be peanuts either.

All that needs to happen is for someone (hopefully not the premier) to sit down with the beer barons and have a pleasant chat about what is needed to add convenience stores to their distribution system. This is a business proposition. Brewers’ Warehousing is going to need some new facilities and more trucks and drivers. There is no need for price fixing nor a lot of needless regulations. Beer is a commodity as are the potato chips those convenience stores sell. In fact, when selling beer, they will probably sell more potato chips.

The point is that no jobs are in jeopardy. The big breweries and the craft beer people are all going to make a little more money. Convenience stores will be a little more respectable. Everybody will be happy—well, maybe not the Toronto Star!


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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