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Spend tax dollars on children with autism not beer store penalties: OPSEU’s President says

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Toronto — OPSEU’s president says the spectre of an additional exorbitant price tag for expanding alcohol sales to convenience stores is further proof the Ford government is bankrupt of any common sense.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas is greatly troubled by media reports that the potential cost of breaking a 10-year accord with the Beer Store could cost up to $100-million dollars in penalties.  The Toronto Star has reported that penalties are part of a deal signed with the Beer Store in 2015.

“Ford is willing to just throw away $100-million in penalties, what a contemptuous way to treat the families of children with autism,” Thomas said.  “How idiotic. It’s too bad the people of Ontario can’t take Ford and his crew back to the store and demand a refund.”

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli confirmed this week that the expansion of beer and wine sales into convenience stores will be part of his upcoming budget.  Thomas said he has no doubt that it’s an attempt to take public attention away from the Ford government’s disastrous handling of a number of files, including autism program cuts.

“These people couldn’t manage a two person rush at a one hole outhouse,” Thomas said.  “Now they’re proceeding with disastrous public policy to lay a smokescreen over their utterly inept and heartless treatment of children with autism.”

Thomas says whether it’s autism programs or Ontario’s corrections system, the Ford government must start investing money in people’s lives, rather than foolishly throwing it away on penalty fees to the Beer Store.

“Unless you’re a lawyer, paying tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in penalties is no better than piling the money in a dumpster and setting it on fire,” Thomas said.  “How can this be ‘for the people.’”

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931