AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Wynne rejects beer sales in corner stores as Ontario reviews rules on alcohol TORONTO – Ontario is preparing changes to the way alcoholic beverages are sold, but it will not permit beer sales in corner stores, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday.It was another Liberal premier, David Peterson, who first promised Ontarians back in the 1980s that they’d be able to buy beer and wine at the corner store, just like their neighbours in Quebec. But Peterson never delivered on the pledge, and Wynne said the idea is now off the table.“We’re not going to have beer in convenience stores,” she said. “There is change coming however.”The Ontario Convenience Stores Association said the province already has more than 200 LCBO agency stores, which are convenience stores in smaller, remote communities that sell LCBO products, and asked the government to expand that model.“By piloting an expansion of this program in an urban or suburban community … government will be able to build on the success of this program while stimulating local economies and increasing LCBO revenues,” said spokesman Dave Bryans.Wynne said she’s been concerned for years about the foreign-owned Beer Store’s virtual monopoly on 80 per cent of beer sales in Ontario.“I was concerned about the functioning of the Beer Store. I was concerned about the access of craft brewers to the Beer Store, and so from that time I’ve been committed to making change,” she said. “It’s not whether there will be change. It’s just a matter of what that change will be, so stay tuned.”Wynne appointed former TD Bank CEO Ed Clark to examine the relationship between the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the Beer Store as part of a review aimed at squeezing the maximum value out of all government assets.“We now have Ed Clark and his commissioners, who are looking at the (alcohol) distribution system in the province,” she said. “They’re looking at the LCBO and as a result of that looking at the Beer Store, so there are changes coming.”Clark rejected privatizing the LCBO in an interim report, and recommended the Beer Store give taxpayers a “fair share” of its profits, saying its virtual monopoly could be auctioned off if the Beer Store doesn’t want to pay a still undetermined fee to the government.Ontario craft brewers say their market share is held back by the Beer Store, which makes it difficult — and expensive — for them to sell their products in its 448 retail outlets.The Beer Store offered to let craft brewers buy an ownership share and promised to make it easier for them to list their products, but the smaller brewers said they wanted to wait and see what action the government takes.Clark’s final report will be given to the government in time for the recommendations to be included in the spring budget, but it is not expected to be made public before then.The Beer Store, the commercial name for Brewers Retail, was owned by a consortium of Ontario-based brewers when it was set up in 1927, but is now owned by Molson-Coors of the United States, AB InBev of Belgium and Sapporo of Japan.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 2, 2015 8:44 am MDT read more