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Spirits Canada Welcomes Ontario Special Liquor Advisor’s Report

Spirits Canada taxNEWS RELEASE

Toronto, May 27, 2019. Spirits Canada today welcomed the release of Mr. Ken Hughes’ Report for the Ontario Beverage Alcohol Review: “The Case for Change: Increasing Choice and Expanding Opportunity in Ontario’s Alcohol Sector”.

Ontario Spirits manufacturers strongly concur with many of Mr. Hughes conclusions, including that competition leads to healthier markets, that the private sector has just as deep an interest in social responsibility as everyone else and that Ontario is ready for bold reforms.

“The Ontario Spirits Industry looks forward to working with Minister Fedeli, the Ford government and local MPP’s to help bring consumers to the forefront of liquor policy decisions in the province”, said Jan Westcott, President & CEO of Spirits Canada.

Mr. Hughes recommends in the short term an expansion in the number of LCBO agency stores and allowing beverage alcohol to be sold in more grocery stores.

“We believe it is critical that Ontario adopts an alcohol retail strategy that treats consumers with respect by providing them with greater choice and convenience while retaining the LCBO as an important asset to the Province. It is also essential to the future growth of Ontario Spirit manufacturers that Spirits are included in all new retail stores as they are authorized”, added Mr. Westcott.

Of note, the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) doubled its Net Income to the Provincial Treasury and saw its customer satisfaction ratings increase from 85% to 99% following the introduction of private, stand alone liquor stores. These private stores, selling beer, wine and spirits, operate in conjunction with and complement government owned and operated LDB stores.

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