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Jurisdictions such as Alberta and Quebec have been selling beer in private outlets for years. In fact, whenever I’m in Quebec City, I make a point of visiting my friend Praful who runs a depanneur – a larger convenience store that has a sophisticated walk-in beer room stocked with craft beers, including single cans, to serve his working class neighbourhood.
Trusting retailers to respect age restrictions and penalizing those who don’t works for tobacco products, and it can work for alcohol.
Dan Kelly, CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
So what is it about Ontarians that makes the Beer Store and its union think it would be any different here?
Ontario’s independent retailers have already proven they can handle the sale of restricted products in other markets. Hundreds of convenience stores across Ontario routinely and responsibly sell tobacco products every day and have passed age-check inspections at a 96 per cent clip, according to the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. And while it’s still in the early stages, private cannabis retail has proven to be a working model, both for consumer choice and for safe, responsible sale.