The Beer Store Buzzkill
In the year 2019, the policy of the Doug Ford Progressive Conservative government to dissolve the Beer Store monopoly makes fundamental sense. Why should a retail consortium of three foreign-owned companies be privileged with outdated protection from competition (albeit protection previously weakened with the opening of grocery alcohol sales)?
What might not make sense, however, is opening the monopoly to allow alcohol sales by convenience stores. Research suggests that increasing the number of alcohol sales points is likely to increase alcohol-related illnesses. Better would be to only open increased competition to new independent brewery retailers.
What most definitely does not make sense, is ripping up an existing contract to dissolve the monopoly. Either Ontario will need to pay significant monetary penalties to do so, or else Ontario will send a chilling message to the business community about the worth and integrity of government contracts. Ending the monopoly is appropriate but not an emergency.
Such is the PC government's shameless enthusiasm for harming business: make decisions first, worry about the consequences later. Leave it to Premier Ford to turn the potential happy hour of the Beer Store monopoly's demise, into just another buzzkill for Ontarians.