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Thomas demands NDP delete private LCBO post

Warren (Smokey) Thomas in a blue suit standing at a podiu
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In a July 3 letter to Official Opposition leader Andrea Horwath, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas demands that NDP MPP France Gélinas remove a Facebook post urging businesses to apply to become privatized LCBO “convenience outlets.”

“I was incredibly disappointed to see one of the members of your party – the Health critic and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, no less – promoting on social media the expansion of the LCBO’s deeply flawed ‘convenience outlet’ privatization scheme,” wrote Thomas in the letter.

“France Gélinas is a fine representative of the people in Nickel Belt – she should know better than to help the LCBO and the Ford government normalize and expand the use of privatized LCBO ‘convenience outlets.”

“I demand that Gélinas delete all of her social media posts promoting privatized alcohol outlets, and begin working with us and the people in her community to expand the network of fully public LCBO outlet across her riding and across the province.”

Here’s the complete text of the letter:

July 3, 2020

Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition
Room 381, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8
ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca

Dear Andrea,

As we both know, the NDP has a long and proud tradition of fighting privatization while supporting high-quality public services, community safety, and workers’ rights.

I was incredibly disappointed to see one of the members of your party – the Health critic and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, no less – promoting on social media the expansion of the LCBO’s deeply flawed “convenience outlet” privatization scheme.

France Gélinas is a fine representative of the people in Nickel Belt – she should know better than to help the LCBO and the Ford government normalize and expand the use of privatized LCBO “convenience outlets.”

From both a public health and public accounts point of view, the scheme is a disaster.

On the issue of health, the evidence couldn’t be more clear: privatized alcohol leads to more consumption, and more consumption leads to more harm. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction found that alcohol use costs the province more than $5 billion a year.

On the issue of public accounts, the evidence is similarly clear: alcohol privatization robs the province of the resources it needs to invest in high-quality public infrastructure and services.

The LCBO returns more than $2 billion a year to the province – why suppress those returns by allowing corporations to skim off part of the profits?

I demand that Gélinas delete all of her social media posts promoting privatized alcohol outlets, and begin working with us and the people in her community to expand the network of fully public LCBO outlet across her riding and across the province.

Sincerely,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

CC France Gélinas