EXCERPTED FROM A JUNE 7 MPP BILL WALKER MEDIA RELEASE — The government of Ontario has announced expanding sales of beverage alcohol to nearly 300 new retail outlets across Ontario, including a number of potential new locations in Grey County.
"Whether driving to the cottage or running errands, consumers across Ontario will now have more places to pick up beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages," said Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli. "Our government is committed to delivering greater choice and convenience to individuals and families, and this expansion is just the beginning."
According to a July 7 media release from Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce Grey Owen Sound, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is expanding its agency store program to approximately 200 new under-served communities, with up to 60 stores expected to open in August. Up to 150 new locations are expected to open by December 2019, with additional stores opening in spring 2020. These new locations will now be called LCBO Convenience Outlets to help consumers easily identify local alcohol retailers in their community that offer a similar product assortment as LCBO stores.
In Grey County, 10 communities have been identified as possible locations for LCBO Convenience Outlets. They include Flesherton, Holland Centre, Holstein, Kemble, Kilsyth, Kimberley, Maxwell, Priceville, Walter’s Falls and Williamsford.
“I’m happy to see our government providing these opportunities to more businesses throughout Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound,” said MPP Bill Walker. “Our Open for Business, Open for Jobs approach is about promoting competition and establishing fairness for everyone, from small craft brewers, cider and wine producers to the large beer producers.”
Walker said he is also pleased to see local support from the founder of MacLean’s Ales in Hanover, Charles MacLean, who welcomes changes for craft brewers to have more stores to sell their great locally made products in.
Ontario is also allowing 87 more grocery stores across the province to sell wine, beer and cider, bringing the total number of grocery store authorizations to 450. New grocers will be able to start selling wine, beer and cider starting in September.
The LCBO will release a Request for Proposal for local retailers in the 200 newly identified communities. All business applicants that meet the requirements for an authorization will be entered into a lottery for each community and those selected will be eligible for Convenience Outlet authorizations.
Grocers will be selected through a lottery process. Successful grocers will then apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for an authorization and enter into a wholesale supply agreement with the LCBO.
"By opening up more alcohol retail outlets across the province, we are not only making life easier for people, we are enabling growth and job creation in the province's booming beer and wine industry," said Minister Fedeli.
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