Sask. residents split on privatization of liquor stores

People are divided on whether or not to privatize liquor stores in Saskatchewan. An online poll surveyed 800 people in Saskatchewan last week.

26% of people surveyed are against privatization, 23% in favour

It appears people in Saskatchewan are divided on whether or not liquor stores in the province should be privatized.

An online poll conducted by InSightrix Research asked a pool of 800 people a number of questions related to privatizing liquor stores in Saskatchewan.

26 per cent of those surveyed said liquor stores should not be privately-owned at all.

23 per cent of the surveyed group thought all liquor stores, old and new, should be privatized.

Finally, 34 per cent said they feel the provincial government's current approach of privatizing new stores and leaving existing stores public is best.

In 2012, the province said it would no longer build any of its own liquor stores.

A number of private retailers then submitted proposals to Saskatchewan's Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Since then, the province has given the green light to Sobeys and Co-Op stores to build two privately-owned liquor stores in Saskatoon, one for each company.

The government is currently studying the pros and cons of privatizing liquor stores.

According to InSightrix Research, the opinions of those surveyed closely align with support for provincial parties.

The research firm has a pool of 15,000 participants it draws on for its surveys and political ideology is part of the information it gathers.

Those surveyed who said they would vote for the provincial NDP in an election are more likely to believe that all liquor stores should remain public.

And people who said they would choose the SaskParty are more likely to support privatizing all liquor stores in the province.

Approximately the same amount of SaskParty and NDP voters prefer the current approach of only privatizing new stores. About one in ten people had no opinion and 6 per cent were unsure.

The poll was conducted from June 3, 2014 to June 6, 2014. Quotas were set by age, gender, and region to match the general population of the province.