McFadyen Says "Yes" to More Private Wine Stores
Mar 12, 2007
This past weekend Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen indicated to a Winnipeg Sun reporter that, if elected, he would “expand the private market for specialty wine stores”.
Despite the fact that almost $200 million in liquor profits went back into Provincial coffers last year, the PC leader believes more private wine stores are the way to go.
The MGEU, the union representing the employees at the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), has been vocal (most recently in an Op Ed piece in the Winnipeg Free Press, Crown-owned Liquor Stores Provide Valuable Service, December 15, 2006) where private wine stores are concerned.
The fact is, public management in the public interest is more advantageous than private, for-profit when it comes to the sale of alcohol. One of the most compelling arguments in favour of maintaining government control of liquor sales is this: instead of lining the pockets of private owners, that money should be used to reduce our debt, bolster Manitoba’s health and education systems, invest in infrastructure, and fund programs that give kids options to guns, gangs, drugs, and auto theft. Revenues from the sale of alcohol should be used to help fund addictions programs or other health related initiatives like the With Child, Without Alcohol program aimed at pregnant women.
Alcohol is not just any product, it is an intoxicant. It can be dangerous if used improperly. The Province, whose interests are not sales first, safety later like they may be in the private sector, should responsibly regulate the sale of alcohol.
The MGEU has advocated strongly that liquor control systems are better able to protect consumers from alcohol abuse than are profit-driven facilities. MLCC staff has no vested interests in what you buy and have no sales quotas to meet. For these and other reasons, they are less likely to sell alcohol products to minors or intoxicated persons.
And the MLCC has addressed issues of convenience by keeping many stores open later (until 11 pm) while the Province has allowed Sunday hours for people who want to shop for alcoholic beverages at that time.
Manitoba voters will have an opportunity to ask Mr. McFadyen about this issue during the next Provincial election campaign.
Comments are now closed