Province to auction off licences to sell wine and beer at grocery stores
More details are starting to emerge about the Liberals plan to open up the sale of wine and beer to supermarkets across Ontario. According to a report in the Toronto Star, the government will auction off around 300 licences to grocers across the province, a move that will represent a step forward for alcohol sales but one that will also generate plenty of revenue.
Sources have told the paper that no one grocer can purchase more than a quarter of the licences on offer, ensuring some diversity in the market. Worthy of note, however, is that it appears that the LCBO and Beer Store will still handle distribution duties when these changes take effect.
Up in the air right now is what the Liberals plan to do with licences held by the Wine Rack and Wine Shop. There's be talk that some of the licences held by these companies will be repurposed as part of these sweeping changes to the province's liquor regulations. With 268 licences between them, there's a lot more potential for change if they change hands.
The likelihood of major changes to alcohol sales in this province just increases. The Beer Store, for instance, told the Star that it's subject to a non-disclosure agreement during negotiations with the government. Something very big is up, and we can expect more and more details to leak leading up to the spring budget.
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