By Ken Swann (September 26, 2014)
When I was young and my life was hectic and full of adventure I can remember on many occasions venturing out to our local Brewers Retail Store. There was never a problem with access and I cannot picture a time that we didn’t make it there before closing.
I must confess that I was never much of a drinker, and usually after one or two beers would always be the first one to say goodnight and go home. My friends on the other hand were true connoisseurs of alcohol and would often drink all night and into the morning hours.
So, although making alcohol more accessible and cheaper would be great for my friends, it really wouldn’t make much of a difference to me, nor would I care.
An article featured August 20, 2014 (Metro News) entitled “Time to end booze monopoly-report” talked about how Ontario consumers have been hosed long enough, let’s look at the pros and cons of the matter.
Many believe the province should strip The Liquor Control Board of Ontario and The Beer Store both of their almost-exclusive right to sell beer, wine and spirits, suggesting that opening up the sales of alcohol will mean lower prices.
The lack of competition in Ontario’s system for alcoholic beverage retailing causes higher prices for consumers.
A new 30-page report titled “Uncorking a Strange Brew” talks about the need for change and includes tables comparing Ontario’s beer prices to those in provinces with greater private-sector involvement.
This is particularly prevalent in Quebec where a 24-case of domestic beer can be as much as $10.00 cheaper and even more for imported brands, nothing supports addiction better than lower prices.
Since 1927 when the Liquor Control Act was passed, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the privately owned Brewers Warehousing Company Limited have had a strangle-hold on alcohol sales in this province. People have been talking about opening up sales for over 30-years but when the province is bringing in approximately 1.74 billion per year it’s difficult to envision change.
But wait a minute, what about the people who are addicted to alcohol? What about the millions of people who are suffering? I don’t think anyone is asking them about this. Is it really fair to expose people to 24/7 sales just to make more money? Will it help them if it’s cheaper?
I’m sure many anonymous fellowships would also be opposed, recovery is tough enough, and there’s no need to make things any tougher.
Those profiting from alcohol sales have a major stake in all of this, and are strongly opposed to any changes whatsoever.