When the multinational corporation behind 7-Eleven applied for licenses to serve alcohol in 31 communities across the province, OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called on citizens and small business owners to object.
“It will hurt small business and restaurant owners struggling to get through the pandemic. It could increase drinking and driving and under-aged drinking,” said Thomas in a media release. “And since this is clearly a ploy to open the door to all convenience stores selling alcohol, it will rob the province of alcohol revenues it needs to fund our vital public services while, at the same time, increasing alcohol harms and the demands on those already overburdened services.”
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is accepting objections to the license applications until March 11.
If you live in one of the 31 communities listed below where the 7-Elevens are located, click here for an easy-to-use email template. The AGCO is also accepting objections through its website.
“I’ve heard a lot of bad ideas in my time, but this one takes the Twinkie cake,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Does this mean we’ll soon be able to buy and/or drink alcohol in all convenience stores and gas stations? What’s next, vodka Big Gulps?
As revealed by CBC, Premier Ford held a secret meeting with 7-Eleven executives in Texas last year, just before the pandemic.
Colleen MacLeod, the chair of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Liquor Board Employees Division, says she hopes Ford will back away from any promises he might have made during that meeting.
“The pandemic has changed everything since he had that meeting,” said MacLeod. “I’m sure the Premier now has a much greater appreciation of the LCBO and the role its essential front-line workers have in the responsible sale of alcohol and the funding of our vital public services. I’m hopeful he’ll do the right thing and put a stop to multinationals trying to make alcohol cash-grabs with things like these ‘restaurant’ applications and calls for reduced wholesale pricing.”
Here are the 31 communities in which 7-Elevens are applying for liquor licenses:
- Niagara Falls
- North York
- Port Colborne
- St Catharines
- York (1390 Weston Rd., and 3355 Dundas St. W)