Ontario to announce plan for convenience stores and gas stations to sell alcohol: report

Article content

The Ontario government is reportedly set to announce a plan that will allow supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations to sell alcohol starting in 2026.

Sources told CBC News that the plan is going to be announced on Thursday.

Article content

The plan makes changes to how alcohol is sold in the province, including ending the current cap on the number of supermarkets with retail licences, and ceasing the restrictions that only permit The Beer Store to sell cases of 12 and 24, CBC reported.

Article content

The plan would allow all grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations to sell beer, wine, cider and pre-mixed cocktails known as RTDs, CBC reported.

The plan will not be effective until January 2026 due to the current contract known as the Master Framework Agreement (MFA) between the province and major brewing companies that own The Beer Store.

The MFA, which was signed by the Liberal government in 2015, will expire by the end of 2025.

According to the source who spoke with CBC News, Premier Doug Ford’s government is issuing official notice this week to terminate the contract when it expires, but it does not mean the termination of The Beer Store.

“I am very happy to hear the news. I have been waiting for many years for that announcement,” Biruk Medhin told National Post on Tuesday. He runs A&M Confectionary, a corner store in the Heron Park neighbourhood in Ottawa

“Premier Doug Ford promised us and he kept his promise as a politician.”

During his election campaign in 2018, Ford promised to allow beer, wine, cider, and coolers to be sold in corner stores. He could not fulfill the promise until now as scrapping the MFA could cost the province financial penalties reaching hundreds of millions of dollars.

Article content

Medhin said the changes not only will add to his interests but also benefit the whole community as alcoholic beverages will be available within walking distance.

“I am ready for it right now. I wish it could become sooner,” he said.

The provincial government will require stores to devote a section of their shelf space to Ontario’s craft brewers and small-scale wineries, said the sources who spoke to CBC News.

The sources also said the changes will not affect the role or structure of the LCBO.


Related Stories

Our website is the place for the latest breaking news, exclusive scoops, longreads and provocative commentary. Please bookmark nationalpost.com and sign up for our daily newsletter, Posted, here.

Share this article in your social network