John Tory’s Election Troubles

September 24th, 2007

I’m puttering around work with a hangover, swearing up and down that I’m off booze for good – never again – this time I mean it – when I hear John Tory is talking about a trial of selling beer and wine in corner stores. Normally, that would cause me to sit and write a nice, John Tory friendly article with a title like…

Finally a Policy Idea I Can Raise a Glass Too.

But no, today I don’t care as I’m “off booze for good – never again – this time I mean it” and it occurs to me if John Tory is having as much trouble connecting with the rest of the electorate as he is me, then he’s in real trouble.

Hangovers and a bad case of the zactly’s aside, here’s how that article cited above might have went:

Finally a Policy Idea I Can Raise a Glass Too.

Back in mid-august we were entertaining our young nephew, who lives in Ottawa. His parents were on their way down to pick him up after a few day stay at our house, and I had no beer in the house. So we were puttering around Friday night, not expecting his parents until after 11:00, and I decided to pick up some beer, in case they were thirsty after their long drive. It was 9:15 on a Friday night, and I was out of luck. Both the Hespeler beer and liquor stores were closed. 9:15 on a Friday night in the middle of the summer.

Thus was born a beer and liquor store abolitionist.

So when John Tory announced yesterday that he would look at selling beer and wine in corner stores he made me sit up and take notice.

Now granted, nothing drastic from our man Tory. Just a few trial locations, study the question: as if Quebec, Alberta and B.C., the U.S.A. and Europe are not test location enough. Really, the data exists, the idea works. But from baby steps like this comes full fledged working policy, so I’ll take what I can get.

And don’t give me any of that “minors will have an easier time getting alcohol,” argument. When I was growing up the beer and liquor stores were the one place you could get alcohol, but try and get into a privately operated bar, and no dice. The same still holds true, and it holds true for a reason. There is no repercussions, either to the unionized employee or the store itself, if somebody sells to a minor in a government run store. But a private operation has much to lose, including their licence, their employees face dismissal for transgressions. There is no reason to believe the same will not hold true at convenience stores.

And please John, tell me you also mean grocery stores: for the environments sake if no other reason. I’m forever making an extra trip instead of grabbing a bottle/few cans of Guinness at the grocery store.

All that said, John Tory is looking for a trial location for his project, I have a little village in mind that needs a place were beer can be had after 9:00 on a Friday night.

Food, freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, John 'Red Green' Tory, John Tory, Ontario Election, pimply minions of bureaucracy

  1. BBS
    September 24th, 2007 at 18:59 | #1

    Where’s a good bootlegger when you need one!

    Ontario needs to get it’s act together and end this ridiculous monopoly. If we want micro breweries and wineries to continue to thrive and grow we have to give them an opportunity to market their products.

    This is particularly important for us in the Windsor area. Ten years ago we had two wineries down here. We now have 11 wineries and one brewery. The potential for us in terms of jobs, tourism etc, is huge.

    As it stands right now, they can’t afford to market their products through the LCBO as 60% of the cost of a $10 dollar bottle of wind goes to the LCBO. What’s left doesn’t even cover the cost of production for the winery. Maintaining the LCBO monopoly is stifling our own growth. It’s easier to buy wine from Australia or New Zealand than it is from Essex County.

  2. Joanne (True Blue)
    September 24th, 2007 at 21:50 | #2

    There are a lot of reasons to support this idea. Certainly good for the local wineries & microbreweries. Also good for the Mom & Pop convenience stores. Not so good for the unions, who Dalton will fight tooth & nail for.

    And now MADD is mad. It’s enough to drive you to drink.

  3. CfSR
    September 28th, 2007 at 20:56 | #3

    I’m really torn.

    Having lived in a province where beer can be purchased from 8AM – 11PM (that’s Quebec), I understand the charm of easy booze.

    I also recognize that most of the product available in most depanneurs, on my more recent visits to Quebec, is commercial Labatt/Molson beers – and the imports distributed through Labatt and Molson. Don’t get me started on the wine.

    Simply put, most of the truly micro micro-breweries don’t have the distribution network required to get their product into enough little stores to justify establishing a distribution network. It’s a conundrum.

    There are compelling arguments to allowing beer and wine in corner stores.

    Better selection and microbrewery beer is not one of those arguments.

    Beer at 9:15 pm is.

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