Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has filed an official objection with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) over the Liquor License applications made by 61 7-Elevens in 31 communities across the province, including 14 in Toronto.
“We’ll find ourselves going down a dangerous path if the AGCO lets this multinational corporation squeeze through a loophole and bring alcohol sales to convenience stores,” said Thomas. “7-Eleven says it’s trying to make its stores into restaurants where alcohol can be served, but we all know the truth: kids and teens will find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder with intoxicated people washing down a Twinkie with a six pack.
“And what about all the home-grown small businesses and restaurants that are already struggling so much during the pandemic – why would we allow this massive multinational to hurt them even more?” Thomas asked. “This scheme must be stopped before it starts, and I encourage everybody to file their own objections with the AGCO.”
OPSEU/SEFPO has always opposed the privatization of public services because it has long history of higher costs and lower quality. The union, which represents roughly 13,000 front line LCBO workers, is also opposed to the further expansion of private alcohol sales because of the damage it does to public health and public finances.
“If 7-Elevens are allowed to sell alcohol for consumption in its stores, it won’t be long before all of the convenience stores in the province are allowed to sell bottles of wine and six-packs – and that would be a disaster,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “I know people like the idea of convenience, but when alcohol is too convenient it ends up hurting families and costing the province millions and millions of dollars in lost productivity and added costs in health and criminal justice.”
The LCBO workers in OPSEU/SEFPO, who are heading soon to the table because their contract expires on March 31, have made stopping private alcohol sales a bargaining priority.
“We’re incredibly proud of our excellent record in responsible alcohol sales, and we’re going to the table united in our stand against private retailers putting profit over public safety,” said Colleen MacLeod, the chair of the OPSEU/SEFPO LCBO division. “Our members are living and raising families in the communities where 7-Elevens want to sell alcohol. Many of us have already objected to these license applications, and we’re encouraging members of the public to do the same.”
The AGCO is accepting objections from anybody living in the communities where the 7-Elevens are located. The deadline is March 11. To submit feedback, visit the AGCO’s website and enter “Liquor” in the category field and “7-Eleven” in the applicant field.
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931