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Beer, liquor prices would increase with deregulation

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The Beer Store launched a PR blitz Monday to educate consumers on the drawbacks of selling beer, wine and hard liquor at corner stores and gas stations by creating a website [www.ontariobeerfacts.ca] bolstered by a new study reviewed by economist Greg Flanagan.

The organization highlighted five major points in the study saying that the deregulation of Ontario’s booze market would result in higher consumer prices and less product selection.

Additional issues included:

  • Reduced tax revenues
  • Increased sales to minors
  • The end of a world-class, award-winning recycling system

Drinkers will pay an average of $10 more per two-four in Ontario if beer and liquor sales are deregulated, Beer Store President Ted Moroz said Monday.

Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec have all deregulated recently and currently, only Ontario maintained "low, competitive prices under the current alcohol retail and distribution system," the new website said.

Prices remained between 45% to 51% higher in B.C. and 30% to 36% higher in Alberta, the Beer Store said.

In Quebec, prices were equal on average following deregulation.

Ontario's chain convenience stores, formally known as the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, to the fight to another level, saying Ontario convenience stores and gas bars scored the highest [87.4%] when tested with underage secret shoppers.

The Beer Store responded via Twitter, citing Monday’s study, saying that 18% of convenience/gas station did not request ID, allowing underage sales.

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