Tory wants to set up test markets for Ontario booze
Ontario beer and wine could be coming to a corner-store near you if Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory sees his election campaign idea through.
Tory said he'd want to set up a few test markets in the province where beer and wine produced in the province could be sold outside the confines of the LCBO.
Local convenience stores are one place where alcohol could be sold, but Tory said he'd have to be sure age restrictions would be firmly implemented.
"I'm very concerned that young people who shouldn't have access to alcohol don't get it and I'm very concerned we maintain the profitability of the distribution system because it pays for a lot of public services," said Tory, speaking to reporters Monday. "But I'm willing to try a couple of markets to see if we can do things better and give Ontario brewers and wineries a bit more of a leg-up within existing trade rules."
Tory pointed to successful agency stores that currently do business in northern Ontario and are capable of selling Ontario wines while respecting the law.
Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty, on the other hand, says he prefers the system currently in place, saying provincially regulated LCBO and Beer Stores are better equipped to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.
McGuinty said Ontario can't compare with Quebec, a province that currently allows alcohol sold in corner stores. He said the two provinces have different standards.
"We do things that we think is in keeping with our standards, our values, and our priorities," he said.