08.09.2012 09:32 AM

Voters of K-W and Vaughan take note: the Ontario PCs don’t care about drunk drivers in your community

After a weekend where the province experienced a huge number of drunk-driving arrests and drunkness-related deaths – what is the response of Hudak’s Tea Party North?

They want to make booze easier to get.  For kids, too.

These guys have just made a huge, huge miscalculation.  Just watch.


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    Dude Love says:

    So what are the stats from BC, NB and Quebec were beer is available in corner stores?

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      Jon Powers says:

      It’s utter chaos. Death in the streets. Same thing in Newfoundland and in every country in Europe. Thank God Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals are here to save us from ourselves.

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        KP says:

        Beer is available in corner stores in BC? Is there another ‘BC’ in Canada I haven’t found yet?

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        Stephanie Powers says:

        The solution is simple. Raise the driving age to 19, lower the drinking age to 16.

        It’s easier to police who gets a license (and insurance to drive) than it is to police who is getting liquour from Dad’s bar in the basement.

        Besides, the trend is that more and more kids under 19 don’t care about driving, and why not encourage mass transit use in younger kids?

        The idiots I see speeding through my neighbourhood are 99% teenage boys… I wouldn’t be opposed to raising the driving age to 21 or 22.

        Your welcome.

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    Erik says:

    I have friends and family who have struggled with alcoholism, including one who recently decided to end their own life. In the wrong hands, alcohol is as dangerous a weapon as any firearm. This is a terribly short-sighted policy direction that would very likely cost lives.
    Don’t let this happen, Warren!

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    Steve Ellwood says:


    In the UK, you can buy beer, wine and spirits (whisky/vodka) to take away with you from all pubs and any store licenced for what are called “off-sales”. That’s most convenience stores, tiny groceries, every supermarket and even some garages/gas stations (https://www.google.co.uk/search?pws=0&q=garage+off-licence).

    Drink driving incidents are falling in the UK.

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    Np says:

    Warren, don’t you think you’re conflating two separate issues? One is a critique on policy and the other is an unfortunate series of dumbasses driving drunk. Alcohol isn’t really difficult to get, even now. I don’t see how one can be up in arms about the prospect of making it slightly more convenient to buy as a prelude to more drinking and driving. Sorry Warren, but I call spin on this.

    There’s a panoply of issues to attack Tea Party North and Frat Boy Hudak on (dear god is the list long). But not this, and not like this. I’m not even saying I agree with him (which I don’t), but I don’t think what he’s proposing is the end of the world. Drinking and driving is a serious issue which deserves serious attention (which, by and large it has been receiving over the last few decades). Let’s not conflate (read spin) a possible challenge that stores might face in selling to the appropriate people with a party willfully wanting to get kids hammered. It cheapens a very serious debate.

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      Np says:

      Correction, NOT the end of the World.

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    Matt says:

    There is never any excuse to drive drunk. Ever. Still, idiots will find a way to be idiots regardless of where they buy their drinks… that said, I don’t agree with this spin. The LCBO is all about the money and in-particular the money it puts into public coffers that seems to insulate the monopoly. I’m not buying the paternalistic stuff here. I’m not saying the 7-11 should sell absinthe, but they should sell wine and beer. It’s archaic and purely money driven that they don’t. I’m a Liberal and wouldn’t vote Tiny mind Tim on a bet but when it comes to the LCBO things have to change.

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    George says:

    131 a huge number, compared to what? Is it larger than last years August long weekend? If this is what passes for intellectual rigor it is just as well you don’t appear in cOurt anymore!

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    John says:

    For what it is worth, there’s essentially no correlation between the number of alcohol retail outlets and the incidence of traffic accidents: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15847624

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    Matt P says:

    Alcohol poses a real public health concern as judged by its impact on hospitalization, morbidity, and related deaths–costing more to the health care system than illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana (http://www.ccsa.ca/Eng/Priorities/Research/CostStudy/Pages/default.aspx) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22293064) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16978496). Is it so bad that trade in this potentially dangerous drug is tightly regulated with the proceeds flowing directly to the government for use in the public interest? I think that there is nothing wrong with maintaining public control over this drug. I am also wary of any further decentralization or privatization as research indicates that substantial increases in public health burden and costs would occur if Canadian provinces were to privatize alcohol sales (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21355934) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21150206).

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      Matt says:

      That isn’t much of an argument as long as tobacco and lotto tickets are available in grocery and corner stores. For my money tobacco is much worse and I am currently witnessing it’s worst effects as I watch a family member get progressively sicker and shorter of breath because of it. I was recently in Quebec City and went to a small epicure shop. They sold meats and cheeses and also small scale micro-brewery beers. There was one cheese where the maker also brewed a beer and when you sampled both the flavour of both changed. It was amazing and both were only available at this one shop. I’m an adult and I want to be able to experience something like that here. Tomorrow is also Friday and I can’t for the life of me understand why I can’t go to the end of my block after work and get a bottle of wine to share with my wife from the corner store…but I can buy smokes and gamble.

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        Matt P says:

        Problem is it’s just not you that must be factored into these decisions as they may well impact public health. It took decades to bring in the current levels of control on tobacco sales by government, and more should be done. Why is it in the public interest to so easily give up control over alcohol sales? I trust a government agency more than the corner store to prevent sales to minors and the addicted.

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          Matt says:

          I agree more should be done about tobacco and for me it’s a bit personal… but it is in variety stores and sold to the addicted everyday. Wine and some other alcohol actually do have some health benefits when used in moderation while tobacco has none. That said, I’ve seen a variety store check ID for sales of tobacco when a person was of age and I’ve seen kids who look no where close holding LCBO bags and also walked past at 10am when the line of the alcohol dependent was formed outside the store and as the store opened every one was served by that government agency. No questions asked or help offered. It’s hubris to think a government agency has the ability to curb alcoholism or underage drinking and I’m not buying the chaos theory that a simple thing like having beer and wine in variety stores (like most places around the world and even in Canada) and allowing small producers a chance in some cases will result in anarchy. As It stands it’s puritanical and archaic policy. Believe me, I gag on a little bit of bile at the thought of agreeing with anything that comes out of these typically regressive conservatives…

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    Doug says:

    I think the PCs are right on this issue – from where I sit people across Ontario are getting pretty tired of MADD driving the agenda around alcohol.

    I don’t think Mr. McGuinty, or you WK, are in step with majority opinion on this one.

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    Yes But says:

    I think the LCBO and the Beer Store are two very different issues.

    The Beer Store is not a government-owned monopoly. It is a distribution and retailing monopoly controlled by a foreign cartel (Sapporo, Inbev and MolsonCoors).

    This foreign cartel-controlled monopoly charges outrageous prices for beer (compared to neighbouring jurisdictions). And, it gives the products sold by this cartel a leg up against domestic competitors such as Moosehead. The foreign cartel knows more about Moosehead sales in Ontario than Moosehead.

    Imagine having a foreign cartel run distribution and retal of gas. From now on, Ontarians can only buy gas from a single retailer, “The Happy Friendly Gas Station Company”, owned by Exxon and Shell. Would Ontarians tolerate this?

    Very few Ontarians understand the nature of The Beer Store. Most think it is a government-owned crown corporation. But it is not.

    And the foreign cartel that owns the Beer Store is in no rush to tell you what they really are. They are happy to hide behind the LCBO’s skirt. The LCBO is not the issue. The Beer Store is.

    PS. this foreign cartel controls wholesale distribution in the western provinces as well. Guess what? a 24 of beer costs north of $35 there too!!!!

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    Joe says:

    The students of Laurier and U of Waterloo are collectively cheering

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    Tiger says:

    So, is there carnage in the streets of Quebec, Alberta, and Upstate New York, where we can obtain the demon booze in corner stores?

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      Jon Adams says:

      Actually, I do have to point out that hooch in Alberta is only sold in specific (privately-operated) hooch stores, not your average everyday 7-Eleven like the states.

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    Mike Foulds says:

    I think this is a bit of a reach for a wedge issue. I wouldn’t vote PC if they offered teachers a 2% annual raise for the next 20 years- and that would get me to retirement 🙂 – but this won’t cause people to vote Lib instead of PC. Of course to be fair Warren has run many more war rooms than I…

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    Steve says:

    What nonsense, Warren. Half my family is American and in the states you can buy beer at the corner store or the supermarket. Same with Quebec, Alberta and lots of other jurisdictions. Idiots who drive drunk are going to drive drunk regardless of where they buy their alcohol. Second, why is the Ontario government granting a monopoly on beer sales to foreign corporations at the expense of independent Ontario craft brewers (who make way better beer, by the way)

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      Jim Hanna says:

      Alberta has private liquour stores, not goverment liquour stores, which is the point here. Many of which share a wall with a neighbouring convenience store or supermarket, or are in the same building, and share the same hours….so its really a distintion without a difference. The point is that ligour sales have still been privatized in Alberta, as has the central logistics warehouse.

      The interesting difference between Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec is that in Alberta, all liguour is sold at private, specific stores, in Quebec only domestic wine (Chateau Dep) and beer are privatized, but can be sold pretty much anywhere (and if you want a mixed message about drunk driving, being able to buy beer where you get your gas is a big one), while hard liguour and good wine are sold in government stores…and Ontario, oddly, has separate government stores for spirits and wine, and beer….

      I’m with the group in saying I don’t know if this the hill I’d want to die on versus Hudak’s Tea Party lite; we have 20 years of data from Alberta and probably more from Quebec, are there more drunk driving incidents in those two provinces than Ontario? More underage drinking? Evidence based policy, wasnt that the big buzz word at the last Bienniel… as opposed to the Harper ” I don’t care what Stats can says, I know that crime is way worse than ever” approach to politics..

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        Philip says:

        This issue isn’t the hill Ontario Liberals should look to die on. In my opinion, Alberta has the right answer here, privately owned and full service stores which just serve alcohol. One issue that seems to have fallen by the wayside is problem of underage grocery store employees in a workplace which serves alcohol. They obviously can’t serve the customers, nor can they cover breaks or assist in under staffed sections which contain alcohol. Store managers are going to have availability nightmares scheduling shifts around this under age no go zone in their stores. Availability in terms of hours which could be offered to under age part-timers may be affected as well.

        That’s why the Alberta solution makes sense to me. All employees on premises would be of legal age. No managing and insurance headaches for large grocery stores and their managers. The private alcohol stores would inevitably be in the same shopping centers as the grocery stores anyway, so I don’t think the consumer would be inconvenienced in the slightest.

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          campbell says:

          I don’t see why there needs to be rules against underage store clerks selling to people who are of age… No logistics nightmare should be required to store managers. Simply hold any cashier under age 18/19 accountable to the same rules as someone over age 18/19.

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    Philippe says:

    Seeing as they do this everywhere else in the world, I doubt that giving us the convenient option to hit a corner store for some booze will lead to doom and gloom. Hell, they let you drink in the streets in Germany, and that place seems to be doing quite alright. I’m not of fan of ancient puritan booze laws – let’s loosen up a little shall we?

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    Brammer says:

    If this website is a test lab for trial balloons, I’d say this one pulled a Hindenburg.

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    AJ says:

    I personally would prefer the privately owned Beer Store to lose their banana republic style crony capitalist monopoly on beer retail (LCBO is okay) but I’m afraid Ontario is not ready and mature enough for it.

    Sure almost all jurisdictions in the developed world, including Quebec, Sweden and even Utah, allow beer in corner stores and supermarkets… That is not the point. We are discussing Ontario specifically.

    Warren is a political master and that means that he understands the culture on Ontario better than most of us… He would support this if he felt Ontarians were ready, and we are not. Truth is that we like the short leash of Premier McGuinty and those before him such as Bill Davis… The polls don’t lie.

    Ontario is the opposite of a risk taking culture. We are boring, risk adverse and bland as a culture and proud of it. It’s served us well… Heck we fetishize health insurance for christsakes. Allowing beer in corner stores is just too risky for us risk adverse lot.

    Let Alberta, Newfoundland, Quebec, Utah, etc. sell beer in corner stores… This is the land of ultra low speed limits, no happy hour and some of the strictest liquor laws in the OECD. We quite frankly assume our neighbours are irresponsible twits who should be treated like teenagers unless proven otherwise. That’s the way we like it and Premier McGuinty and Warren understand that about us and follow.

    That said, the structure of the Beer Store is scandalous… Privately owned conglomerate. The optics are awful and the media momentum will shine its light on this fact… Not saying anything untoward is going on, but this is a set-up that Tony Soprano would love. Why doesn’t the LCBO nationalize the Beer Store to expand its footprint?

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      Derek says:

      It may be hard to believe, AJ, but perhaps some are actually guided by moral imperatives rather than craven pragmatism.

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        AJ says:

        This province was founded on craven pragmatism and lack of trust of our neighbors to do the right thing. Actions speak louder than words and people get the government and policy they deserve. What the existence of the LCBO tells the world is that we trust our public sector more than our small business sector. What the Beer Store tells the world is that we are just a bunch of unsophisticated kulaks and let a privately owned foreign monopoly to run an industry.

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    AJ says:

    I should point out that where the OCSA failed with their Mickey Mouse PR is by not separating the LCBO and Beer Store…

    The LCBO and Beer Store are both Ontario institutions that have quite frankly trained the public to think liquor sold in regular stores is “weird.” The difference is that the LCBO is a semi-beloved institution by consumers and especially suppliers who delivers a juicy dividend every year. The Beer Store ships all its profits out of country and is despised by most consumers.

    They should have focused exclusively on the Beer Store and educated the public on the outrageous banana republic style setup of the organization.

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      campbell says:

      This comment here is the smartest piece of analysis I’ve seen on the matter so far.

      LCBO is widely accepted and liked, and legitimately does some good for us.

      The Beer Store is a completely different animal – foreign owned, a private monopoly, and indeed despised.

      It will be much easier to gain traction on this issue by going after the Beer Store only, rather than dragging the LCBO into this. Anyhow, even if beer and wine could be sold in corner stores and other specialty shops, we would still want this type of control on all the harder stuff — we’d run into having a system like Quebec’s, where the government’s SAQ stores sell all the hard stuff and any other store can sell beer and wine. Only real problem with Quebec’s system is that private stores can only sell wine that was bottled in Quebec, which limits selection significantly as Quebec has no domestic wine industry to speak of.

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    Susie says:

    Considering the LCBO is more likely than corner stores to sell to minors, I guess this means it’s Dalton McGuinty that doesn’t care about drunk drivers.

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    b says:

    would have to agree with others that equating beer in corner stores with drunk driving is a little over the top. if you don’t like the idea, well that’s fine, but hyperbole like this probably isn’t going to help your cause.

    I will add a caveat; that if you can provide any research or studies showing a clear correlation between the two i will retract my previous statement!

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    Yes But says:

    Here’s research we all need the answer to:

    When our intrepid host, WK, goes to Maine every summer, what does he do? Surely, he has to stop at Shaw’s or Hannaford’s to purchase groceries for his much deserved beach break. And when he does, does he go down the beer aisle? Does he purchase his beer alongside his milk, bread and fresh Maine blueberries? Or, does he scream, “the horror! the horror” when he notices how handy it is to purchase the well-priced beer. Does he say to his son, “avert your eyes, son, this beer in a grocery aisle is the signal of Maine’s social decay. Much safer to hand retail and wholesale distribution of beer to a coterie of foreign interests who will operate a monopoly.”

    If I am betting money, then $20 says he buys himself 24 Shipyards and gets on with his vacation!

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    Woody says:

    If the corner store beer is a trial balloon, I don’t think its the wedge issue the Liberals want to be on the wrong side of in the land of Octoberfest. I think at these early stages the potential wedges are the Light Rail Transit, Highway 7 expansion, and perhaps some investment in the IT sector. But it’s early days and who knows if there will even be time for wedges to develop or get any traction.

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Woody, a better wedge issue for the Team Timmy would be the wave of mis-managed school closures that Broten and McGuinty are covertly coordinating, all the while saying that local school boards call all the shots. I don’t know of the school closures going down in KW and Vaughan, but if they are similar to the ones playing out in Kingston, Hamilton and Peterborough, Dalton might get some blow-back. I would never vote Timmy even in protest, but the NDP might pick up votes big time on this issue.

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