Will Kathleen Wynne's visit to a Toronto grocery store be all about wine sales?

Kathleen Wynne appears ready to unveil her government’s plans to open up wine sales in supermarkets on Thursday morning, one week before budget day.

Government hopes to allow wine sales in 70 grocery stores, CBC News confirms

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, seen here buying some beer, could announce the sale of Ontario wine in some grocery stores Thursday morning in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Kathleen Wynne appears ready to unveil her government's plans to open up wine sales in supermarkets on Thursday morning, one week before Ontario's budget day.

Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa are set to speak at a Longo's in Toronto's Leaside neighbourhood at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the premier's itinerary.

CBC News has independently confirmed a report by the Toronto Star that the government plans to allow 70 grocery stores to sell wine this year, a number that will eventually grow to 150.

Sousa neither confirmed nor denied the report, but said he would have "more to say" later this month.

Last December, Wynne visited a Toronto Loblaws to announce the start of beer sales in supermarkets across Ontario. At that time, Ontario winemakers said they're hoping to have their products sold alongside beer.

Wynne said the province was studying the possibility, but needed more time to ensure it gets the move right.

Currently, wine is only sold at the LCBO and a select number of retailers such as the Wine Rack.

It's unclear what regulations will come along with wine sales, or if they will change how beer is sold.

Beer sold in grocery stores must be less than 7.1 per cent alcohol by volume. It's unclear if there will be restrictions on wine, which can sometimes exceed this alcohol percentage.

The government said it hopes beer will be sold in over 100 grocery stores in 2016 in a program that could eventually see move than 450 grocery stores stocking it. 


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