TORONTO — Today Premier Kathleen Wynne stood alongside Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at Addictions and Mental Health Ontario to oppose Doug Ford’s reckless plan to extend the sale of beer, wine and possibly even cannabis in corner stores. Ford’s approach would risk the routine sale of alcohol to minors in neighbourhoods all across our province.
Under Premier Wynne, the Ontario Liberals have led the largest liberalization of Ontario’s liquor laws since the end of Prohibition more than 90 years ago. Beer, wine and cider are now available in more than 350 grocery stores, with 100 more points of sale to be added within the next couple of years. All sales are overseen by staff who must receive Smart Serve training and certification to ensure sales are limited to customers who are age of majority.
Doug Ford takes the opposite approach to alcohol sales — and would put children and communities at risk. By allowing every corner store in our province to sell beer and wine, Doug Ford has no plan to ensure oversight, enforcement or training. Even worse, Ford began his time as Conservative leader by almost immediately musing about allowing corner stores to sell cannabis products.
When recreational cannabis becomes legal later this year, cannabis will only be sold through a subsidiary corporation of the LCBO. Under the Ontario Liberal plan, children will never see cannabis sold next to candy bars at the neighbourhood corner store, and teens working part-time at a local convenience store will never have the opportunity to sell drugs or alcohol to their underage friends.
The rollout of cannabis also elicits confusion and contradiction from the NDP. The $220 million in funding established to ensure enforcement, oversight and implementation of legalization with municipalities has been eliminated from the NDP platform as part of its string of math mistakes. The NDP have no plan to ensure that more stores can be safely and sensibly added without causing multiple unintended consequences in communities all across our province.
Safely and responsibly giving consumers of alcohol and cannabis choice is part of the Ontario Liberal plan that makes the largest mental health care investment in Canadian history, expands publicly funded prescription drugs to one-in-two people in Ontario, builds a record amount of transit, boosts hospital funding, helps more people go to college or university with publicly funded tuition and lets more parents go back to work by funding preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten. Ontario’s economy is growing stronger, but that growth and the care and services it funds are at risk this election.
“Doug Ford is comfortable with a system that would put very few protections in place that discourage the sale of beer, wine and cannabis to underage kids. Our plan is safe and sensible — with a controlled approach to increasing convenience and sales.”
—Premier Kathleen Wynne
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