TORONTO, Aug. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - It is difficult to determine how serious anyone should take the Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) Party's latest commitment to, once again, seriously consider the sale of beer and wine in corner stores. What new information is there that has not been evaluated ad nausea since the PC's last promised to privatize the LCBO in 2005?
The anachronistic approach adopted by the Ontario PC's to single out beer and wine for favourable retail market access has no place in a liquor retail system built for the 21st century, the stated goal of the party's latest public musings.
"Ontario spirits manufacturers will oppose any measure that further discriminates against distilled spirits products manufactured in the province by local families from corn and cereal grains grown by Ontario farmers", explained Mr. Jan Westcott, President & CEO of Spirits Canada.
Ontario-made spirits are the largest single beverage alcohol contributor to the Ontario Treasury and yet the PC plan is at best silent on its future distribution network, and at worst would relegate spirits to second tier status. Such an approach is completely incompatible with the widespread acknowledgement and acceptance from consumers as well as from the health and addictions communities that a "drink-is-a-drink".
"A true beverage alcohol policy for the 21st century embraces competition, a fair and level playing field, and equal rules and taxes for directly competing products, and not policies where central planners try to pick winners and losers", added Mr. Westcott.
LCBO retail store renovations and retail store network expansions are essential consumer-focused investments funded through product mark-ups imposed on beverage alcohol products and have a demonstrated high positive financial return. Costs for the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine and other promotional flyers are borne directly by participating brand owners and also generate a profit for the LCBO.
Spirits Canada is the industry trade association representing Ontario spirits manufacturers across the Province and the Country.
SOURCE: Spirits Canada
For further information:
Jan H. Westcott
President & CEO
Cel. 416 707 8851