Ontario budget will clear the way for booze sales in convenience stores, finance minister says

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli told the Empire Club in Toronto Thursday that the first budget he presents two weeks from now will include details of expanded sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Beer, wine to be sold in corner stores, big box outlets, more grocery stores, Vic Fedeli says

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli says that the sale of beer and wine in corner stores will be announced in the budget. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

Ontario's finance minister says the province will move ahead with an expansion of beer and wine sales into corner stores, big box stores, and more grocery stores.

Vic Fedeli says the Progressive Conservative government will make good on a pledge made during last spring's election to offer consumers more choice when it comes to where they can purchase booze.

He gave no timeline for the move but said it will drive down prices on beer and wine and ensure that the government does not need to privatize assets to increase availability of products.

The Tories have previously said they are not planning to privatize Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores despite receiving a report last fall that recommended consideration of the sale of some government assets.

Fedeli says Ontario currently has the lowest density of retail outlets selling beer, wine, cider and spirits in Canada, with less than 3,000 outlets selling alcohol compared to Quebec's approximately 8,000.

His comments came during a speech to a business audience in Toronto delivered ahead of his first provincial budget on April 11.


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