An LCBO strike, and Ontario’s long, strange history of booze policy

By Analysis by The Big Story podcast

In today’s The Big Story podcast, Ontario’s liquor distribution workers are on strike for the first time in their history. The reason? The government’s plan to open up places like corner stores for beer, wine and mixed cooler sales. It’s the latest chapter in a strange history of alcohol policy in the province that dates back to prohibition.

The LCBO brings in billions in revenue each year for the government, but Premier Doug Ford has long pushed for more convenience in alcohol retail. Meanwhile, the rest of the country wonders why the province needed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars just to make beer in corner stores possible. 

Richard Southern is the Queen’s Park reporter for CityNews. “It’s still not actually clear how much money the government will make under the new model. But it’s pretty clear it is going to be a lot less than the $2-$2.5 billion that it makes right now,” said Southern. 

Today, a look inside this fight, and many others Ontario has had over drink, over the years.

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