Our LCBO: Let’s Keep it Public
March 23, 2012 LBED Surveys Convenience Store Owners on Beer and Wine
Sales. Last October, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association lobbied the
parties to allow beer and wine sales in corner stores. Members were concerned
that this was another effort to privatize beer and wine sales in Ontario. The
LBED Anti-Privatization Committee responded by hiring a polling company to
conduct a survey of convenience store owners.
to view the full survey
the face of Ontario’s $21 billion dollar deficit, selling Ontario’s crown
jewels is getting another round of debate. Our message on this is clear:
selling off any of Ontario’s assets, including the LCBO, is foolish. Why
sell the goose that lays golden eggs year after year?
Last year alone the LCBO, OLG
(formerly the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation), Hydro One and Ontario
Power generation brought in $4.3 billion dollars in profits. Year after year
these funds go directly into the provincial coffers to support health care,
education and other public services that benefit the people of Ontario.
The Ontario government is
reportedly considering combining these enterprises into a “super
corporation” and selling a minority stake to private investors. McGuinty is
attempting to soften privatization by claiming that this “super corporation”
will be partially privatized. It is more than likely however that the scheme
is to work towards complete privatization. It will be a déjà vu, reminiscent
of the days when Petro-Canada and Air Canada were publicly held, before
being gradually sold off to the private sector.
Dalton McGuinty has turned to
Goldman Sachs, a notoriously greedy New York investment bank, to provide
advice on the sale of Ontario’s crown jewels. One reporter has referred to
Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity,
relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
With Goldman Sachs offering advice to McGuinty on privatization, it is
unlikely that the “best interests” of the people of Ontario will be served.
We don’t want Dalton McGuinty to make the same mistake Mike Harris made when
he sold off Highway 407 at a bargain basement price.
The privatization of liquor in
Alberta, which occurred in 1993, is evidence that privatization is not only
a bad idea, but a costly one as well. Following privatization, Albertans
watched as the rate of impaired driving and alcohol-related crime increased.
As a public agency, the LCBO has a mandate to sell alcohol responsibly. Each
year, LCBO employees refuse to serve thousands of people who are under-age
or intoxicated. Social responsibility keeps our communities safe.
You can help keep our LCBO
public. Download and email our flyer to your family, friends and neighbors
and let them know the importance of keeping the LCBO in public hands.