ontario beer store

Ontario PC leaders mocked for staging corner store beer tweets

The provincial government's ruling PC party was back at it again with their synchronized politicking this weekend, sparking a flurry of angry tweets based on — what else? — beer stuff.

It all started on Friday when dozens of Conservative MPPs tweeted out photos of themselves at convenience stores around Ontario. Their captions, while slightly different, all put forth the same core message: People should be able to buy alcohol with their lottery tickets and potato chips.

"Do you think it’s fair that multi-national companies have a monopoly on beer sales? We don't!" tweeted Minister of Education Lisa Thompson just before 6 p.m. "Our government believes people who call small towns and villages like #Belgrave home deserve choice and convenience when buying beer and wine. It's the fair thing to do!"

"It would be great for you to care about schools and children as much as you care about beer," replied one Ontarian to that tweet.

"You're the Minister of Education, so I'm wondering if you can solve this math problem," wrote someone else. "What percentage of your soul dies each time you and your fellow DoFo minions have to participate in these pathetic coordinated Twitter photo-ops to promote initiatives that nobody asked for?"

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, went to Toledo, Ontario for a photo op, telling his followers that beer and wine at corner stores would support small business owners.

Attorney General Carolyn Mulroney went above and beyond by attaching a video to her tweet.

"This is disturbing and frivolous," replied one Twitter user. "Why isn't social wellness of hard working citizens met with such fervour. This tweet marketing onslaught does not change the fact that important social and environmental programs have been slashed for the folly of getting beer in corner stores."

As did Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo.

One tweet from Peterborough Kawartha MPP Dave Smith has even inspired some parodies.

And the list of similar tweets from members of Doug Ford's cabinet continues, on and on and on and on and on.

It's almost as if this were a coordinated effort meant to sway public opinion in the PC government's favour after taxpayers found out that breaking their contract with the Beer Store could end up costing up to $1 billion in legal penalties.

Just kidding, that's exactly what this is. The same thing happened back at the beginning of April when all 55 members of the PC provincial government posted photos of themselves pumping gas before Justin Trudeau's federal carbon tax kicked in.

Ford's supporters have also shown a tendency to do things en masse at the legislature — once to the point of being reprimanded for giving everything the Premier said a standing ovation.

We've long known that bringing beer and wine to Ontario corner stores was part of the Ford government's plan, but it wasn't until last week that they tabled legislation to cancel a previous exclusivity agreement with The Beer Store that will result in steep breach of contract fines.

The idea, while popular at first, has become a hot-button political issue with many saying that they'd rather spend $1 billion on... pretty much anything else.

Despite the contract breach costs and all the ensuing backlash, Ontario Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli assured reporters last week that the government is confident in its decision 

"The province's current beer distribution is owned by three global giants who were handed a sweetheart deal by the previous government and who are more interested in protecting profits than providing convenience and choice for average people," he said.

"It's a monopoly that's a bad deal for consumers and businesses and is deeply unfair to the people of Ontario."

Lead photo by

Sylvia Jones

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