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OPSEU President to Premier: ‘Show some common sense’

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas speaking into a microphone in front of an Ontario flag.

Toronto  – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontarians should be concerned about a media report that the Ford government is proceeding with privatizing alcohol distribution.

Thomas says the current distribution network under the LCBO and the beer store is the most efficient retail network around.

“The Ford way seems to be: ‘if it ain’t broke, blow it up with a bazooka’, said Thomas. “Ford is heading toward being the worst Premier in Ontario’s history, he makes Mike Harris seem like a thoughtful statesman.”

The CBC quoted Ford’s handpicked alcohol czar, former Alberta cabinet minister Ken Hughes, as saying he’ll soon recommend how to expand beer and wine sales into corner stores.  Hughes also said retail distribution is on the table.

Hughes’ comments surfaced over the Victoria Day weekend and Thomas noted that the previous Liberal government had a penchant for making alcohol announcements on a long weekend.

“I won’t be surprised if the Ford government makes the Hughes report public the night of July 1 when people are watching Canada Day fireworks,” said Thomas.

“If it’s such a good idea to short circuit the LCBO than why do governments act in such a sneaky fashion in making announcements about alcohol?”

Thomas says Ontario has plenty of problems, but rather than solving them, Ford is creating new ones by ripping apart a system that has served the province well for generations.

“The LCBO is a superb retail model, the well trained staff make sure alcohol is kept from minors and the corporation pours $2-billion into provincial coffers that pay for health care and education,” said Thomas.

“Doug show some common sense, stop giving in to your lobbyist pals and stop messing up something that is working well.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931