May 16, 2013

TORONTO – Ontario’s bars and restaurants are operating under a cloud of uncertainty heading into a busy long weekend due to the threat of a strike by Liquor Control Board of Ontario employees.

“It’s extremely frustrating for our members who are scrambling to make contingency plans ahead of one of the busiest weekends of the year,” says Stephanie Jones, Ontario Vice President with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). “This kind of uncertainty in an already tough business environment underscores the need for change in Ontario’s outdated system of selling and distributing wine, beer and spirits.”

Ontario’s more than 14,000 licensed bars and restaurants pay retail price or more for the products they purchase from the LCBO. CRFA has long called for action on recommendations by the Ontario government’s Beverage Alcohol System Review panel to introduce reforms and competition to the sale and distribution of alcohol in Ontario.

“The threat of an LCBO strike is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Jones. “Ontario’s restaurant industry generates $25 billion a year in economic activity and employs 425,000 people. Modernizing the LCBO’s business practices would allow our industry to be more competitive, create more jobs and investment, and further promote and support Ontario’s wine and beer industries.”


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