Ontario NDP says they will review beer and wine in grocery stores if elected
Colin D'Mello, CTV News Toronto
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:13PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:30PM EDT
When beer and wine were first introduced to Ontario grocery stores, New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath admits to being taken aback.
"I'm not happy that my cheese department now sells beer in my local grocery store," Horwath said at a Kensington Market area restaurant Tuesday. "Not because I don't like beer, but because I like cheese better."
In a bid to satisfy consumer convenience, the Liberal government put beer, cider and wine on grocery store shelves in 2016, taking it outside the LCBO for the first time. Currently 350 stores carry beer and cider, while 70 grocers are stocked with wine.
But plans to expand even further would be in question if the NDP formed a government on June 7.
A party spokesperson told CTV News Torontothat a decision on whether any more grocery stores would be allowed to sell alcohol can't be made before the election.
The party says it would review the program, study its success and inquire whether there are any concerns from retailers or social responsibility advocates.
"We believe there is some social responsibility when it comes to the sale of alcohol and we think it's well taken care of by the LCBO.” Horwath said.
The New Democrats say what's open will remain open, but it is not committing to an expansion.
The current plan includes putting beer in at least 450 grocery stores and wine in 300 stores.