While Doug Ford has been promising alcohol in corner stores for quite some time, it seems that he finally got what he wished for. After what seems like an uphill battle, the government has officially announced that Ontario beer in corner stores sales will be expanding throughout the summer months. The government has promised that 300 new stores will be selling alcohol across Ontario by the end of the summer.
The Ontario government made the announcement this afternoon that its legislation to cancel the Ontario government's contract with the Beer Store passed at Queen's Park today, allowing the province to expand alcohol sales throughout Ontario. This contract between the province and The Beer Store was set until the end of 2025 and limited the number of retailers that could sell beer across Ontario.
While the break of the contract with the Beer Store could result in Ontario taxpayers footing the bill for $100 million in penalty fees, Ontarians will now be able to pick up a case of beer at their local convenience store before heading out to their cottage this summer.
CBC reports that this broken contract could lead to compensation that needs to be rewarded to the Beer Store and the brewers for the lost income that would result in breaking the contract six years early.
Yet, the Ontario government states that this broken contract will allow 87 grocery stores, as well as additional corner stores and big-box stores to open their doors to alcohol sales this summer.
While there seems to be a lot of controversy involved in this choice, the Ontario Government is more concerned about the 'life' of the people, stating, "by opening up more alcohol retail outlets across the province, we are not only making life easier for the people, we are enabling growth and job creation in the province's booming beer and wine industry".
According to City News, both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce warned the provincial government not to break the contract with the Beer Store due to the negative signal it would show to future Ontario businesses and investors.
However, this warning didn't seem to matter today as the Ontario government passed to vote to cancel the contract.
Despite the controversy, it's hard to deny that this new deal will make getting beer a whole lot easier for local Ontarians this summer.