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LETTER: Reader questions if the LCBO monopoly should continue

By removing the monopoly and allowing other businesses to sell alcohol, the incidents that are of a safety concern will occur less frequently at any given location.
Letter to the editor

To the editor,

In response to the previous letter, I wholeheartedly agree that the safety of the public, both the employees and patrons, in our LCBO stores is a major concern for our communities and something must be done to address these concerns immediately.

Personally, I have to very much disagree that we all should be abandoning our morals, principles, values and worldviews in favour of taking brash action, especially without properly considering the consequences of those actions.

However, if we are going to abandon our ideologies, as a suggestion, maybe it is time for us as a society to consider abandoning the idea that having a government-sponsored monopoly in the alcohol retail sector is in the best interest of the public.

Currently, every person in Ontario who wants to purchase alcohol must do so at specific, centralized locations. This centralization means that all people of Ontario, all demographics, must concentrate and congregate at very few physical locations.

By removing the monopoly and allowing businesses to sell alcohol in locations that are spread out across our communities, the incidents that are of a safety concern will occur less frequently at any given location as these incidents are spread out across more locations. This will improve safety for everyone without having to target anyone specifically.

Furthermore, the private businesses who choose to sell alcohol are also free to choose whatever safety or anti-theft policies they wish. Some of those private businesses may decide that a “show your papers to enter” policy is in their best interest and some members of the public who value those measures can freely patronize those businesses. Conversely, those members of the public who hold a higher value on their privacy can freely choose to patronize a business that does not have such draconian measures in place.

It is obvious to everyone that there is something wrong with Ontario’s current alcohol sales model. I think it is very valuable for the public to be able to have these open discussions in an effort for us all to cooperate and coordinate on a solution that is in everyone’s best interest.

Cory Bagdon

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