The Progressive Conservative Leader, Tim Hudak, made a bold statement on Tuesday announcing his support for allowing Ontario to have beer, wine and spirits be sold in corner stores and grocery aisles. He further elaborated his proposal by stating the he does not intends to cut taxes on alcohol, though he would consider selling part or all of the LCBO, which he calculates have brought brought in $1.6-billion to the province last year.
Mr. Hudak explained his stance by stating “so I think we need to be practical and thoughtful, whether that’s a partial sale of LCBO stores, a full sale, allowing the employees in to bid and run them as well, or franchises.” He added that “I think all these options are valid. I’d like to hear what Ontarians have to say about that, but I’m not going to build new stores, and I think it is time to have LCBO stores go into private hands.”
Mr. Hudak suggested that the government shall keep an eye on the core services like health care and education instead. He also denied his support to the notion which asserted that selling any part of the LCBO would deprive the province, which is facing a $14.4-billion deficit this year, of much-needed cash. He alleged that “I bet you that actually increases revenue at the end of the day.” He urged that “you could drive out of this province in any direction you wanted to go to, and you’d find more choice and more competition in privately run stores,” and now “It’s time we did that in Ontario too.”
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