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Updated on Sunday, November 23

#20155

OMG: I call for a boycott of the Beer Store. If you need beer, go to LCBO. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-beer-store-is-a-hard-case-for-ontario/article21680863/

24 comments

  1. it's cheap and has a huge selection, not just budwaiser and budlight, so screw that

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    1. Have you even been in the beer section of the LCBO?

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    2. ^what the fuck do you think?

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  2. I'll happily boycott the Beer Store any day. I prefer wine or vodka.

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  3. The beer store is appalling. The Liberals should end its monopoly, and open up beer sales to competition, rather than legislating a monopoly on beer sales to a private offshore cartel.

    Of course, they should also privatize the LCBO and allow for competition in liquor sales... but one step at a time.

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    1. The LCBO is the single largest bulk purchaser of alcohol in the world... so we actually do get better deals on quite a few types of alcohol including compared to other provinces.

      More importantly, why privatize a Crown corporation that brings insanely high profits ($1.71 billion in 2013) that go directly to the province's general fund? Every dollar in profit that they make is reinvested in the people of Ontario.

      So why should we find selling it to a private company to hoard the profits preferable?

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    2. 3a, while the points you raise are perfectly valid...

      ->The LCBO's monopoly results in some truly silly alcohol prices;
      ->The LCBO's monopoly results in an atmosphere which cares naught for quality of service. Often the most interesting selection isn't even advertised or displayed on the shelves.
      ->Many of the best spirits in the world aren't sold in the LCBO, for various bureaucratic reasons. Therefore people who want to get their hands on unique spirits often have to pay through the nose to have it imported to another province and then (illegally) bring it into Ontario (which leads me to my last point, which is less of a jab at the LCBO and more of a jab at the provinces themselves)...
      ->Because for some inexplicable reason, you can't ship alcohol between provinces. God forbid we in Ontario buy a BC-made wine!

      Why privatize a Crown corporation? Because regardless of its profits, the business it's involved in is one which the government has no good reason to BE involved in. I can buy all my other groceries at the grocery store, I can buy cigarettes at convenience stores... why can't I buy my spirits at those places, too? Why should the government be the sole purveyor of alcoholic beverages?

      Regulating the sale of alcohol is one thing. But competition will bring down costs, increase variety, and ultimately help stimulate economic growth. Surely, in today's day and age, I needn't explain why monopolies are BAD things?!

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    3. Very valid points 3b, however I don't agree in the rationale of privatization for privatization's sake. The government is the majority but not the sole purveyor of alcoholic beverages, you exclude the privately-run Beer Store (which this whole post was about) as well as the independent wine retailers (like WineRack), and the various breweries and wineries across the province.

      I have no problem with the sales of beer (and even wine) being opened up to convenience stores and supermarkets, like what has been done in Quebec. However, keeping the majority of alcohol sales under government control is in the interest of the public good... which is the purpose of government.

      Further, there is no evidence that allowing competition in the alcohol retail sector will allow for greater variety and lower costs, especially since these independent retailers won't have the sheer clout that the LCBO has by virtue of its buying power. What may happen is that we will see at best a slight increase in selection, with higher prices due to the costs incurred by the businesses in purchasing alcohol.

      As for the interprovincial importation, that is a matter of (I believe) federal law which is out of the hands of the provincial government.

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    4. 3c,

      "...keeping the majority of alcohol sales under government control is in the interest of the public good..."

      Why? I fail to see how this benefits the public.

      "...there is no evidence that allowing competition in the alcohol retail sector will allow for greater variety and lower costs..."

      That's what happens in every other market when you open it up to competiton; why should retail be any different?

      Regarding interprovincial importation... sadly, I believe that is actually the result of a combination of provincial laws, from several different provinces. There are several exemptions (for example, the restrictions on the importation of out-of-province wines in Ontario is waived for MPs importing into the National Capital Region for contests, official functions, etc.), but it's really a whole bureaucratic mess that needs to be untangled in order to allow the market to flourish freely.

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    5. 3b, if you really want some special item, the LCBO has a service for that. You call them up, tell them what you want, and they get it for you. Its obviously more complicated than that, but that is basically what happens. The downsides are that it is more expensive than buying it at the place of origin (usually because of taxes and import fees) and you have to buy a case.

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  4. I think OP is referencing the fact that The Beer Store is not owned by the government, as many people believe, but is actually owned by a conglomerate of international beverage companies. So all the profit that the store makes basically leaves the country, aside from employee wages.

    I don't think privatizing the LCBO is a good idea, nor allowing competition in liquor sales. This has more to do with my own political slant though.

    If the LCBO had a bottle return program, I would never go to The Beer Store.

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    1. 4, care to elaborate on that? Why shouldn't we be able to buy beer/alcohol at the grocery store (with ID, of course) the same way they can in the UK/Europe? At the very least, why shouldn't we be able to buy beer from those places?

      Restrictions on the sale alcohol are some bizarre century-old holdover of prohibition. They make no sense. But that's just my opinion/politicial slant.

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    2. 4a, I think there is some truth to the LCBO as a holdover from the prohibition era. Historically, that is where it has its origins. I'm not sure that its continued existence is as simple as that, however. I know in Ontario there have been discussions about allowing liquor sales in grocery stores, and one of the arguments against this was that the security would be lessened. Advocates for widened sales argued that the LCBO agency stores that exist already do a good job of regulating sales, and that there is not widespread abuse of this system. For me, this raises two points. Firstly, since we already HAVE a mechanism for LCBO agency stores in grocery stores (there are at least three within a twenty minute drive of the house where I grew up, as well as two beer stores and two LCBOs), then, in effect, we already have sales through grocery stores, or at least an avenue for stores to enter into liquor sales. Of course, you might argue that such sales are still under control of the LCBO, which is true, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, as this system, by all accounts, does a good job of regulating liquor sales. Secondly, I am not sure that this statistic gives a good general picture of liquor sales through grocery stores. If it were expanded to include essentially all stores, such as tobacco, then there is not a good way to regulate product security. Having worked in a grocery store or two, I can say that all products, including cigarettes, move out the back door with regularity.

      Also, some, though not all, areas that have wider alcohol sales, and the accompanying price drop, have greater issues with alcohol abuse. This is particularly a concern in the UK, where low liquor prices have, according to some reports, driven alcohol abuse. On a whole, I'm not sure the present system we have is dysfunctional or unfair to consumers, aside from the monopoly of the Beer Store, so I think that the LCBO should remain. Sorry for the long reply.

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    3. 4a here,

      That's okay 4b, your response was very coherently stated, I appreciate that.

      Here's a suggestion for you - why not sell alcohol the same way we sell cigarettes? Allow anybody to sell it, but simply require ID at the point of sale for anybody who looks like they're under 25? It's not that hard. If you really want to take it a step further, you can require all stores selling liquor to keep it behind a locked cabinet.

      I'm not suggesting we get rid of the LCBO - I think it's a perfectly fine company, which in a system allowing for private competition in the sale of alcohol would likely be a market leader. My suggestion is simply that we open up the market so that other companies are allowed to sell alcohol and compete with the LCBO in a real market economy. I suggest privatization in tandem with that because I don't think there's any truly good reason for the government to be in the alcohol sales business.

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  5. God you fucking students these days boycott the most stupid inane shit.

    You want to boycott something that matters? Boycott the XL pipeline. Although you turds probably don't even know what that is or what it's doing.

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    1. You can't boycott a pipeline that has not been built yet.

      Plus, how exactly do we "boycott" Keystone XL? I don't think that most of us are oil magnates with some crude to ship.

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    2. Ah yes, because every student ever cares about this one issue, and this one issue alone. And it's totally impossible to care about more than one thing in the world.

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  6. Just remember the Beer Store will sell you products like Heineken for a discounted 2-4 price instead of 4 individual 6 packs like the LCBO does

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    1. This is because of rules that the Beer Store has lobbied to put in place. The LCBO would sell larger cases if they were allowed to. That is what people mean when they talk about the Beer Store monopoly.

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    2. It really is time for it to go.

      Let convenience stores and supermarkets sell beer, move all the fancy beers to LCBO.

      More profits for both the public purse and private business.

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  7. Thanks for posting this article OP! I had no idea how the beer store was run or who owned it.

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  8. You folks need to watch this: http://www.momandhops.ca/now-playing-straight-up-the-issue-of-alcohol-in-ontario/

    It makes the point that the LCBO is terribly inefficient. It makes *lots* of money, but then wastes it on high price advertising, really expensive stores (see the one in downtown Waterloo), pays huge salaries, etc. etc. -- and why? It's a monopoly! Why would they advertise, other than to encourage *more* drinking? In the end they make very little profit that goes back to the government.

    Also, prices are regulated between the Beer Store, LCBO, and buying at the brewery: they're all the same.

    Finally, as said above, the Beer Store must go.... and the LCBO next.

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  9. GUYS (and girls).

    Get on the #7 bus, heading towards uptown.
    Get off at King and Bridgeport.
    See the place called 'Gold Crown Brewery' right in front of you when you get off the bus
    Go inside.
    Buy a 12-pack for $16 or 6-pack for $8.50, or 2x12 packs for $31.
    Be careful, the boxes are a bit flimsy.

    Don't go to the Beer Store or the Lickaboo.

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    1. But do they have any selection besides what they brew there?

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