Ontario Government Planning Corner Store Beer Sales, May Face Legal Penalties

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Government is planning to expand the retail availability of beer and wine in the province, but may have to pay a hefty price to do so.

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli told attendees at an Empire Club of Canada luncheon yesterday that the government is “actively working to expand the sale of beer and wine to corner stores, box stores, and even more grocery stores.”

However, expansion of beer retail sales in Ontario beyond the Beer Store, LCBO, and 450 currently licensed grocery stores would breach a 10-year agreement struck in 2015 between the previous government and the Beer Store, which is majority owned by Molson CoorsLabatt/AB-InBev, and Sleeman/Sapporo. Such a breach could reportedly lead to the government having to pay as much as $100 million in legal penalties.

More details on the government’s plans are expected to be included in the provincial budget set to be tabled on April 11th.

Source: Toronto Star

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