Beer Store Lobbying Exposed

This forum is for discussing current and upcoming LCBO, Beer Store and Grocery Store releases and policies.

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Bytowner
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Beer Store Lobbying Exposed

Postby Bytowner » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:42 pm

While the last Cohn article wasn't particularly shocking to anyone here, every paragraph in this one is incredible to me
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014 ... noRedirect
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Postby Belgian » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:07 am

Ontario roll over and take it? No way!

We will be very angry, write letters expressing our anger, and then roll over and take it.
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Postby antirealist » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:27 am

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Postby Publican » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:03 pm

Because of all this bull sh*t by the big brewers I can't see any political party allowing private craft brewery stores.
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Postby S. St. Jeb » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:00 pm


This doesn't smell good.
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Postby boney » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:42 pm

“Lobbying is an essential part of democracy,” Wynne’s office proclaimed, followed by a disclaimer: “Any suggestion that any individual contribution or interaction may unduly influence government policy is false.”

Even if that was true, which is debatable given the context, that comment will leave a particularly bad taste in many peoples mouths.
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Postby Belgian » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:07 am

Another former government official says The Beer Store exploited the new bottle return system as a way of virtuously “greenwashing” it operations. But the big bonus was getting the entire customer base of its LCBO rivals coming to its doorstep.
“Recycling isn’t goodwill, it’s geared to driving traffic from the LCBO to The Beer Store...”

I kind of thought we were being jerked around! I mean yes, if people DO buy spirits and wine, won't most of them buying beer anyways support TBS when they get their refunds? This is intentional railroading if you look at who benefits. It's dirty.

'Will you be getting anything else today?' is the question they ask EVERY time. There is NO need for that, they could just hand you the deposit refund (or most of it, as they so oft mis-count) and you could obviously do as you like without their prompting, duh. It should be illegal for TBS to use the green program as an opportunity to market to you, let alone drag you there unwilling in the first place.

^ Small things are still unjust.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:09 am

If a party or a political group really wanted to make an actual election issue over this, it would seem to me that the better tactic would be to forget about beer, but to make a campaign promise to outlaw corporate/union political donations (which are legal in Ontario, but not federally). Because honestly most people wouldn't make beer sales a deciding issue when thinking about who to vote for. But campaign finance rules (especially if you can relate it to corruption and buying influence) has a much bigger draw. And if someone could get some traction on that issue, it would in turn get rid of a ton of the power the owners of the beer store have.
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Postby xocoatl » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:41 am

Kel Varnsen wrote:If a party or a political group really wanted to make an actual election issue over this, it would seem to me that the better tactic would be to forget about beer, but to make a campaign promise to outlaw corporate/union political donations (which are legal in Ontario, but not federally). Because honestly most people wouldn't make beer sales a deciding issue when thinking about who to vote for. But campaign finance rules (especially if you can relate it to corruption and buying influence) has a much bigger draw. And if someone could get some traction on that issue, it would in turn get rid of a ton of the power the owners of the beer store have.


I agree this is the way to go. First eliminate the corporate/union bribery (I mean lobbying), then politicians can make decisions not based on where money for their next campaign run will come from. This includes things like loaning out prime meeting space, and providing free drinks.
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Postby cfrancis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:29 pm

Kel Varnsen wrote:If a party or a political group really wanted to make an actual election issue over this, it would seem to me that the better tactic would be to forget about beer, but to make a campaign promise to outlaw corporate/union political donations (which are legal in Ontario, but not federally). Because honestly most people wouldn't make beer sales a deciding issue when thinking about who to vote for. But campaign finance rules (especially if you can relate it to corruption and buying influence) has a much bigger draw. And if someone could get some traction on that issue, it would in turn get rid of a ton of the power the owners of the beer store have.


This sounds great and as much as I support it, it will not happen easily. This is how all of the political parties currently get their money. The Liberals are not the fund raising juggernaut that the federal Conservatives are so they can't afford to turn the tap off from unions/corporations or they risk ending their own pipeline.

It's a death spiral, you need politicians to do the right thing but at their own detriment. Horrible situation.
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Postby Craig » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:42 pm

cfrancis wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:If a party or a political group really wanted to make an actual election issue over this, it would seem to me that the better tactic would be to forget about beer, but to make a campaign promise to outlaw corporate/union political donations (which are legal in Ontario, but not federally). Because honestly most people wouldn't make beer sales a deciding issue when thinking about who to vote for. But campaign finance rules (especially if you can relate it to corruption and buying influence) has a much bigger draw. And if someone could get some traction on that issue, it would in turn get rid of a ton of the power the owners of the beer store have.


This sounds great and as much as I support it, it will not happen easily. This is how all of the political parties currently get their money. The Liberals are not the fund raising juggernaut that the federal Conservatives are so they can't afford to turn the tap off from unions/corporations or they risk ending their own pipeline.

It's a death spiral, you need politicians to do the right thing but at their own detriment. Horrible situation.


This is especially true now that Harper eliminated the per-vote subsidy that used to exist.

One thing that really irks me is the tax credits you get for political donations. Why the heck is that money tax-deductible? Political parties aren't really charities. Even more galling is the credit is actually bigger when donating to political parties than charities.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:17 pm

cfrancis wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:If a party or a political group really wanted to make an actual election issue over this, it would seem to me that the better tactic would be to forget about beer, but to make a campaign promise to outlaw corporate/union political donations (which are legal in Ontario, but not federally). Because honestly most people wouldn't make beer sales a deciding issue when thinking about who to vote for. But campaign finance rules (especially if you can relate it to corruption and buying influence) has a much bigger draw. And if someone could get some traction on that issue, it would in turn get rid of a ton of the power the owners of the beer store have.


This sounds great and as much as I support it, it will not happen easily. This is how all of the political parties currently get their money. The Liberals are not the fund raising juggernaut that the federal Conservatives are so they can't afford to turn the tap off from unions/corporations or they risk ending their own pipeline.

It's a death spiral, you need politicians to do the right thing but at their own detriment. Horrible situation.


I agree it wouldn't be easy. But at the same time it would be the kind of issue that voters might care about. Because lets face it beer sales in Ontario really isn't that big of an issue for most people. And certainly not an issue that most people would choose who they vote for on. I mean if someone is looking at party platforms, and they align with one party on things like health care, education and taxes but that party doesn't want to change the beer sales system, they are probably still going to get that person's vote.

But if you make campaign finance and corporate influence the issue, more people can relate to it and take it seriously and use it as a way to decide who to vote for.
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Postby Cass » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:36 pm

Kel Varnsen wrote:I mean if someone is looking at party platforms, and they align with one party on things like health care, education and taxes but that party doesn't want to change the beer sales system, they are probably still going to get that person's vote.


Totally agree, but it's always perplexed me why beer retail & sales aren't framed up as the "economy" so can be considered a 'Tier 1' issue.

Opening up the beer system can lead to more jobs in retail (entrepreneurs opening stores, retailers hiring store staff) as well as in the brewing industry itself (more opportunity for sales = more opportunity for growth). This leads to healthier economies in both large cities AND small communities which obviously benefits many people. And I've long maintained that private stores can co-exist alongside Beer Stores & LCBOs so its not like they'll all close.

This shouldn't be a beer issue but an economic one, which would give it more weight alongside health, education, etc.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:01 pm

Cass wrote:
This shouldn't be a beer issue but an economic one, which would give it more weight alongside health, education, etc.


Exactly. If someone just framed it as a corruption, corporate political donation scandal it could go somewhere. Even just as a general thing about outlawing political donations from corporations seems like a way to do it. I mean look how fast charges of corruption and the whole sponsorship scandal killed the Federal Liberal's time in power.
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Postby cfrancis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:19 pm

Cass wrote:
Kel Varnsen wrote:I mean if someone is looking at party platforms, and they align with one party on things like health care, education and taxes but that party doesn't want to change the beer sales system, they are probably still going to get that person's vote.


Totally agree, but it's always perplexed me why beer retail & sales aren't framed up as the "economy" so can be considered a 'Tier 1' issue.

Opening up the beer system can lead to more jobs in retail (entrepreneurs opening stores, retailers hiring store staff) as well as in the brewing industry itself (more opportunity for sales = more opportunity for growth). This leads to healthier economies in both large cities AND small communities which obviously benefits many people. And I've long maintained that private stores can co-exist alongside Beer Stores & LCBOs so its not like they'll all close.

This shouldn't be a beer issue but an economic one, which would give it more weight alongside health, education, etc.


Has there been a study done on the amount of jobs opening up the system would create against how many would be lost by the shutting of the Beer Store and the reduction of the LCBO?

I'm assuming opening it up ideally would be some hybrid system where the Beer Store essentially gets eliminated and spirits and high end wines etc would still be at the LCBO and they could compete with everyone else on beer/wine.

There would be a lot of high paying jobs lost without the LCBO/Beer Store. Yes a lot of front staff that are lower paid in the Beer Store but in the LCBO they are all pensionable/benefits, etc.

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