News - Press Release
Press Release

Thomas to Ford: Stop talking. Start listening.

Publication Date

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 7:00am

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is expressing disgust at the arrogant and high handed way Doug Ford is behaving, months before voters have even had their say.

“He's already acting like he’s premier, but he is spouting off about privatizing the sale of alcohol and cannabis, without giving any thought to the consequences,” Thomas said.  “His superficial grasp of the issues proves he’s all tip and no iceberg.

“I thought the Liberals had cornered the market on arrogance, but this guy is off the charts,” said Thomas. “It’s time for him to stop talking and start listening.”

Thomas said Ford must back off his reckless rhetoric on privatizing the sale of alcohol and cannabis.

“Ontarians understand we have to do everything we can to make sure kids don’t get their hands on alcohol and cannabis,” said Thomas. “But here comes Doug Ford, who hasn’t even been his party’s leader for a week, making dangerous promises about opening the sales floodgates."

On a radio interview yesterday, Ford said he’d allow any retailer to get into the business of selling alcohol and cannabis.

Thomas said that flies in the face of both common sense and hard evidence, pointing out that most of the private corporations currently allowed to sell alcohol in Ontario have been caught red-handed in a price-fixing scheme that stretches back more than a decade.

“If we can’t trust corporations to sell bread responsibly,” asked Thomas, “why should we trust them to sell alcohol and cannabis responsibly?”

On the other hand, Thomas said the LCBO has an excellent record of safety and responsibility.

In 2016-17, OPSEU members at the LCBO challenged more than 14.4 million individuals in 2016-17 and refused to serve over 250,000, the majority for reasons of age. The LCBO also hires secret shoppers to ensure LCBO staff check the ID of anyone who appears to be younger than 25 years old. 

Thomas said it’s clear: the provincial government should reduce private alcohol sales, and ensure that the sale of cannabis remains completely in public hands.

“Doug Ford says he doesn’t like monopolies. But he’s boasting he’s going to win the biggest political majority in Ontario history. That would make him just as powerful as any corporate monopoly,” Thomas said. “And based on his comments this week, I’m worried about what he’d do with that power.

“His complete lack of grasp on public policy is alarming.”

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