Skip to main content

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath talks to a vendor at a market during a campaign stop in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Saturday, May 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press

The current system of restricted retail beer and wine sales in Ontario works well and is socially responsible, New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said Saturday.

Campaigning in Thunder Bay, Ont., Horwath said there’s no need to allow convenience stores to carry the products – a perennially favoured if never-implemented idea that once helped propel the Liberals to office in the mid-1980s.

“I’m going to be straight up about it: I don’t think we need to have beer and wine in the corner stores,” Horwath said. “I don’t think this is a broken system in Ontario. I don’t necessarily think that we need to mess with it. It’s working fine for people.”

Story continues below advertisement

Ontario PCs would allow beer, wine to be sold in corner stores

The prospect of liberalized sales surfaced during the June 7 campaign when Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford said he would allow corner-store sales of beer and wine if he’s elected premier.

On Friday, ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend, Ford made his campaign promise on the topic, and on Saturday reaffirmed the commitment while at a brewery in Baysville, Ont.

“This is about making life a bit more convenient for you,” Ford said Saturday. “The Liberals and NDP think they know what’s best for you. They oppose giving you more choice and convenience when it comes to buying beer and wine.”

But Horwath poured cold beer on that notion, saying people already know where they can buy their alcohol. The issue, she said, goes beyond one of convenience.

“It’s more than just accessibility; it’s social responsibility,” Horwath said. “That social responsibility piece is important.”

Horwath was campaigning in northern Ontario on Saturday, where she talked up her health-care strategy – more hospital beds and attention to long-term care – and visited a farmer’s market.

The Liberal government expanded alcohol sales in recent years beyond the provincially run LCBO and privately owned Beer Store, with more than 350 grocery stores authorized to sell beer and cider, and 70 allowed to sell wine.

Story continues below advertisement

Under their plan, up to 450 grocery stores will sell beer and cider, including 300 also selling wine, but the Liberals haven’t supported expanding sales to other retail outlets.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies