The case for beer and wine in corner stores

In Ontario, compared to cigarettes and just about every other legal product, alcohol is relatively difficult to get your hands on. You can get beer at the Beer Store or at brewery outlets, such as the Steamwhistle brewery. You can purchase wine at LCBO stores or a handful of private retailers, such as the Wine Rack.

In the United States, much like most of Canada, these items can be purchased at variety stores. 7-11 has launched its own brand of beer called Gameday. (Thanks to Bijou Gurung for the tip.) Obviously, it won’t be available in Ontario anytime soon. Arguments get made that having government stores control sales will prevent minors and intoxicated people from gaining access. This is a very hypocritical argument. Cigarettes and lottery tickets, also not available legally to minors and both also potentially destructive to society, are sold by private outlets. The Beer Store, contrary to popular belief, is not owned by the government. Its unionized employees are employed by a collective of the major breweries operating in Ontario: Molson-Coors, the parent company of Labatt, and Sapporo. As well, almost all bars are not government run.

The other argument is made that having liquor available on every street corner will lead to more excessive drinking and potentially more deaths. I’m going to argue this move would save lives. I live near an LCBO outlet and between 8:30-9 p.m. it is a very scary place to cross the street. Drivers are racing into the parking lot to try to make it for last call. Who knows how many of them are intoxicated and have run out of liquor or beer? If they don’t get served, will they race around town and find a liquor store that’s open later? Maybe afterward they will drive to a bar. I’m not encouraging intoxication, but if someone can just walk to their 24-hour convenience store to get beer, it will at least make it safer for me and others to cross the street and drive on the street. If someone just needs to get drunk, let them get drunk without hurting anyone but themselves.

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One Response to “The case for beer and wine in corner stores”

  1. […] a retail monopoly run by giant conglomerates in Sapporo, InBev and Molson Coors. I’ve stated previously why I think the “socially responsible” idea is to allow beer and wine sales in corner […]

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