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Alcohol retailer threatens union with suit over lobbying allegations


The Globe and Mail is reporting on the lawsuit threats OPSEU and OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas are facing from Alcanna, a large alcohol- and cannabis-retail corporation based in Alberta.

The threatened defamation lawsuits come in the wake of Thomas’s call for an RCMP investigation into the lobbying efforts behind the Ford government’s decision to scrap its deal with the Beer Store and allow other corporations — like Alcanna — to begin selling alcohol in convenience and box stores.

Several months ago, Ford hired an Albertan named Ken Hughes to write a report on the expansion of privatized alcohol sales in the province. Hughes once owned an alcohol-retail company that he went on to sell to Alcanna.

Just two months after Ford was elected, his campaign communication director — Melissa Lantsman — registered as a lobbyist for Alcanna.

“I think it stinks to high heaven,” Thomas told the Globe and Mail, adding he has no plans to retract his comments or apologize.