Union launches campaign against Ford to save jobs, keep beer prices low

May 10 2019, 11:04 pm

A union has launched a campaign to create public awareness about consequences Ontarians will face if Premier Doug Ford continues to focus on the expansion of alcohol sales.

The Beer Store employs over 7,000 people in large and small communities across Ontario.

If alcohol sales expand to corner stores, Ontarians will pay more for beer and the jobs of those working in Beer Stores will be at risk.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada Local 12R24 (UFCW Canada Local 12R24) launched their campaign to inform people about the costs to Ontarians if Premier Ford continues to focus attention on alcohol retailing, while making cuts to funding for health and education.

“The Ford government is creating chaos for communities by pushing ahead with corner-store beer sales,” said John Nock, the president of UFCW Canada Local 12R24 in a press release.

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“Right now, beer prices before taxes in Ontario are among the lowest in Canada due to our efficient distribution system to outlets that are equipped to handle beer safely. Study after study has shown that beer prices will rise due to higher distribution costs and the usual convenience store markups. That is what happened in Alberta when it privatized alcohol sales, which Doug Ford’s $1,000-a-day alcohol consultant Ken Hughes knows too well because he profited from it as a partner in Alberta Spirits Inc,” Nock said.

The price of beer in Ontario is low. It’s the government taxes that bring the prices up.

“If the government really wants to lower beer prices, it would reduce Ontario taxes, which are among the highest in Canada,” said Nock. “It’s definitely not ‘for the people.’”

Ontario taxpayers could also take a $1 billion hit if the Ford government breaks its agreement on beer retailing with 31 brewers.

“The Ford government’s obsession with beer in corner stores could directly result in a billion dollars in taxpayer funds being tossed out the window. That would affect all Ontarians and damage our health and education system,” the Local 12R24 president said, in the release.

Kayla GladyszKayla Gladysz

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