Saskatchewan's publicly owned liquor system is superior to private systems elsewhere in the west — so the province should not privatize, a new report says.
On Tuesday, the Parkland Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a study that says Saskatchewan's public liquor system offers lower prices, generates more revenue for the province and mitigates social harm to a greater extent when compared to private stores in Alberta and B.C.
Parkland spokesman David Campanella says after studying private liquor sales in Alberta and B.C. since privatization, he concludes prices have gone up and tax revenue has gone down.
"If they had kept the amount of tax they were earning per litre of alcohol sold that they were pre-privatization they would have earned an extra $1.5 billion," he said.
In contrast, over the same period, Saskatchewan's per capita liquor revenue increased.
The report compared beer, wine and hard liquor prices in the three provinces and again, Saskatchewan did well. Prices at publicly owned stores in Saskatchewan and B.C. were generally lower than in privately owned stores in B.C. and Alberta.
The Saskatchewan Party government has promised it won't privatize existing liquor stores, but in recent weeks Premier Brad Wall has said if there are new stores, they might be privately owned.
The Parkland Institute describes itself as a non-partisan, Alberta-wide research centre situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives says it's an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice.