Negotiations between the government, The Beer Store, and the brewers have been kept quiet.
A spokesperson for The Beer Store emailed a statement to CBC yesterday stating, "The discussions are aimed at reaching a mutually agreeable amendment … to improve customer convenience and choice. We cannot disclose the details of these ongoing discussions."
Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli commented in an interview yesterday, "We're going to continue to consult right across the industry over the course of the summer. I think the premier was pretty clear during the election and since that we want to put beer and wine in corner stores, big box stores, and more grocery stores because we want to offer people more choice and convenience."
After reporters questioned whether or not expanding beer retail sales is worth the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in penalties, Fedeli responded, "Well, we don't make any presumptions."
Even though Ford reportedly abstains from alcohol, his government has prioritized expanding the beer retail market. The political implications of breaching this contract are tremendous, especially considering how Ford often refers to "respecting taxpayers" as the cornerstone of his platform.
One thing is for sure: if beer is indeed sold at corner stores, it will be much more expensive than products sold at The Beer Store, where brewers set their own retail prices, reports CBC.