Disband Beer Store, LCBO Monopolies: Hudak

This is a release from Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak:

Today, I’m making an announcement on how it’s time to challenge why the government needs to run businesses that distract its focus from core services we all value, like health care, education and infrastructure.

The LCBO is a prime example of Queen’s Park operating a commercial enterprise – from top to bottom – that should be exposed to private sector competition, enabling more consumer choice.

The LCBO system was created in 1927. That’s the year Charles Lindberg crossed the Atlantic. And the basic idea hasn’t changed since: government doesn’t trust Ontarians to make their own responsible choices.

And today, staring at a projected $30 billion deficit, this government wants to spend another $100 million for new LCBO outlets. It’s time for some tough choices on getting out of businesses Queen’s Park has no business being in.

Whatever direction you leave Ontario consumers have more choices in where they can buy alcohol, from corner stores to grocery stores to private outlets. Let’s join our neighbours in treating people like adults.

The province should consider all options for increasing choice and competition, ranging from the sale, partial sale or greater private franchising of non-core assets like the LCBO. The province should also end the Beer Store monopoly and allow sales in corner or grocery stores.

Options like these that work successfully in other places could help Ontario raise significant funds to pay down debt, enabling investments in critical infrastructure that could kick-start our economy and encourage private sector job creation.

On Thursday, my team and I will release our sixth policy paper called A New Deal for the Public Sector. The paper will lay out a series of reforms to focus government on the core services that matter most to taxpayers, to deliver more value for less money.

To read the Ontario PCs’ Paths to Prosperity discussion papers, visit: www.ontariopc.com


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