Province To Introduce Legislation To End “Beer Store Monopoly”

Monday May 27th, 2019

Posted at 2:51pm

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Last updated: Monday May 27th, 8:48pm

The Government of Ontario says they plan to introduce legislation that will end what they call decades-old near-monopoly on beer sales.

The government plans to introduce legislation that would, if passed and proclaimed, terminate the previous government’s agreement with the Beer Store, allowing Ontario’s government to expand alcohol sales to corner, big-box, and more grocery stores.

“The unfair agreement with the Beer Store puts the interests of three large global brewers ahead of Ontario consumers, taxpayers and small businesses,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance. “It’s a bad deal for people in Ontario who want more choice and convenience, and it’s deeply unfair to businesses who want to compete in this sector.”

The government says it looks forward to continuing discussions with the Beer Store with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable amendment that will improve choice and convenience.

“It’s my hope the multinational brewers who own the Beer Store will put the interest of their customers and Ontarians first and join us as we build a modern, equitable system that opens up more places to buy beer while we create a model that also allows small businesses to grow and create jobs,” concluded Fedeli.

Beer Store President Ted Moroz says that they are currently reviewing the government’s announcement and are pursuing our legal options.

“The government cannot extinguish our right to damages as outlined in the Master Framework Agreement. It is critical to understand that The Beer Store has, in good faith, based on a legally-negotiated 10-year operating agreement with the Province of Ontario, invested more than $100 million to modernize its stores and to continue to upgrade the consumer experience, Moroz said.

“We have today sent a legal letter to the government and will fight this legislation vigorously through the courts and we remain committed to protecting the 7,000 Ontarians who work at The Beer Store and rely on these jobs to support their families.”

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