TORONTO, Jan. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - The following is a statement from Beer Store spokesperson Jeff Newton about the class action lawsuit filed today:
The Beer Store is reviewing the statement of claim in detail, but the facts in this matter are clear and we believe the claim has no merit.
The plaintiffs' statement of claim contains factual errors which demonstrate they lack an understanding of how Ontario's beer retail system works. In particular, the plaintiff's claim that the Beer Store sets prices is false (paragraph 21). The Beer Store doesn't set the price of beer in Ontario. Not only does each brewer that sells in the Beer Store independently set its own prices, these prices are approved by the LCBO on a weekly basis.
In June 2000, the Beer Store and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario entered into the Framework Agreement, which was intended to benefit Ontario beer consumers. The efficiencies of the Beer Store system allow for great brand selection and for brewers to independently set beer prices, which are the lowest average beer prices in Canada.
The agreement was common knowledge. It was negotiated with the LCBO pursuant to its powers under the Liquor Control Act. The Government of Ontario directed and participated in these negotiations. Any other suggestion is misleading.
The Beer Store has always operated according to the rules established by the Government of Ontario for regulation, sale and distribution of beer in this province. The plaintiffs acknowledge this in their claim, when they attempt to argue that aspects of Ontario's regulatory scheme is itself illegal and the federal government's Importation of Intoxicating Liquor Act is unconstitutional.
About The Beer Store
The Beer Store offers customers 490 brands, provided by 105 brewers. Approximately 1-in-4 brands come from small Canadian brewers. It is a completely open system that allows any brewer in the world to sell their brands in any store they choose. The Beer Store is deeply committed to responsible sale and not selling to minors and people who are intoxicated. More than 3.6 million customers were challenged in 2013 alone. It is also one of the greenest retailers in the world and collected more than 1.7 billion beer bottles in 2012-2013 (a 92 per cent return rate) and 300 million wine and spirit containers (a 80 per cent return rate). The Beer Store Employs 7,000 hard-working Ontarians with well-paying full and part-time jobs.
SOURCE The Beer Store
For further information: Bill Walker, [email protected], 416-624-3936