Thank you to those who took the time to object to 7-Eleven liquor licenses – you’re among hundreds of people from across Ontario taking action to keep our communities safe.
Many people that objected are now receiving requests from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to quickly provide more information about their objection.
If you’ve received a request, we’ve prepared a reply that you can use in your response.
Thanks again for your work on this.
Here’s a template response based on the submission made by OPSEU/SEFPO and President Thomas:
Thanks for your email. I’m writing to provide the additional information you requested.
My objection is simple: when alcohol is too widely available, it causes serious harm to individuals, families, communities, and the entire province.
Allowing 7-Eleven to begin selling alcohol at this and 60 other locations across the province will make our communities less safe.
At a local level, children and teens will run the risk of encountering intoxicated people at this and other 7-Elevens. Or even worse, if they’ll be able to obtain alcohol at these stores.
There is clear evidence that private alcohol retailers have lower safety standards than government retailers. As Ontario’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health notes: “In both British Columbia and Alberta, studies have found that private retailers are less likely than government-owned retailers to ask people who appear to be minors for identification.”
In Ontario, LCBO workers enforce liquor laws through a specific and accountable policy called “Check 25.” And at the store level, employees are encouraged to “Think 30”, meaning they verify age for anyone who looks under 30. LCBO workers record every challenge and the reason for the challenge, and those challenges are publicly reported in the LCBO’s annual reports.
In contrast, private retailers such as grocery stores are not required to track challenges and do not publicly report their record of challenges. 7-Eleven has issued no assurances that it would behave any differently.
The multinational has also not issued any assurance that it would not use its liquor licence to attempt to lower the pay of its already low-paid workers. With a liquor license, could the multinational – which was recently embroiled in a wage-fraud scandal – drop the wages of some of its Ontario workers from the $14.25/hour minimum wage to the $12.45/hour minimum wage for liquor servers?
For those two reasons alone, I object to the this and all of the other 7-Eleven Liquor License applications.
I also object for a third reason, and it is even more significant.
7-Eleven may be attempting to refashion its stores into some something more like “restaurants,” but I believe these liquor license applications have another purpose: to help force open the door to take-home alcohol sales in all convenience stores across the province.
This would massively expand the availability of alcohol in Ontario.
As a large body of scientific and health research has shown, such an expansion would significantly hurt a large number of people, along with the entire provincial economy as a whole.
In summary, allowing 7-Eleven to lay the groundwork for alcohol sales in all convenience stores would:
- Increase the physical and emotional harm done to individuals and families, particularly in poorer communities.
- Increase the damage, injury, and death done by drunk driving.
- Damage the province’s economy through lost productivity and increased pressure on our already over-burdened public services, especially our overcrowded hospitals and jails.
The evidence is clear. The expansion of alcohol sales to convenience stores would do significant damage in Ontario.
7-Eleven must not be allowed to bring this expansion one step closer to reality by becoming licensed to sell alcohol for in-store consumption.
[Your signature here]