The Beer Store Goes On the Offensive, and it’s Very Offensive

Y’know, these days I try to stay away from talking about political stuff here on Guile’s World – mostly because these days I’m completely disgusted by all politicians and all parties. The Conservatives have turned into the Republican Lite Party, the Liberals have always been power-hungry crooks and always will be, the NDP doesn’t care about the likes of me – an able-bodied, middle-aged, straight, white, anglo-saxon, protestant, male who doesn’t belong to a union, and the Green Party is still a joke and will remain one for the foreseeable future. But I couldn’t let this go uncommented, due to the sheer chutzpah, hubris, and stupidity involved.

The Beer Store is getting its dander up because there’s an increasing call to deregulate the sale of wine and beer here in Ontario. Keep in mind that the Beer Store is part of a government-sanctioned duopoly for beer sales – here in Ontario you can only buy beer in either the Beer Store or the LCBO. (I’m talking about beer to take home, not beer at a bar.) Keep in mind also that the Beer Store is not government-owned: it’s owned by three breweries which used to be Canadian: Molson, Labatt, and Sleeman, which are now respectively owned by or part of Molson Coors Brewing Company (U.S.), Anheuser-Busch InBev (Belgium), and Sapporo Breweries Limited (Japan). Yes, Ontarian’s access to beer for home consumption is completely controlled by huge foreign companies.

So here’s the ad:

I mean, seriously?! According to this ad, all convenience store owners are crooks, and only the Beer Store can keep booze out of the hands of underage teenagers. As someone who has been regularly buying beer and alcohol from both the Beer Store and the LCBO since I was 14 years old, I can personally attest to what a steaming pile of bullshit that argument is. Meanwhile, faced with the same level of potential fines as for selling tobacco to minors, plus the possibility of losing their license to sell beer, most convenience stores will be, if anything, even more careful with potential underage buyers than the Beer Store or the LCBO: if the Beer Store gets caught selling to a minor, they get fined and that’s it; I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they have a “Caught selling to a minor” contingency fund set aside just for these fines. The convenience store would get fined too, plus (like with tobacco) lose their license to sell, which could potentially end up meaning thousands of dollars of lost revenue. The Beer Store doesn’t give one flying fuck about underage drinkers: they’re going on the offensive because they’re afraid of losing their stranglehold on the market, period, end of discussion.

Newsflash: BC, Alberta, and Quebéc aren’t beseiged by hordes of drunken teenagers – at least not any more than any typical Toronto strip club on a Friday night. Anybody who falls for this bullshit “Think of the children” propaganda campaign is a fucking idiot. And government revenue won’t fall if beer and wine are suddenly available at your local Mac’s, in fact it’ll probably increase because I can practically guarantee that the Beer Store has a sweetheart deal when it comes to paying taxes that corner stores won’t.

Fortunately, it appears that Ontarian’s aren’t buying it: they had to disable comments on the YouTube page for the ad. Seriously, did they really think we were that stupid? Evidently so… which shows how out of touch they are, which is just one more reason to end their near-monopoly.

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