Ontario Beer Store Agreement
In February 2012, the Canadian Beer News reported that The Beer Store made political donations worth thousands of dollars to the British Columbia Liberal Party and the British New Democracy Party of British Columbia. The report noted that it was strange that an Ontario-based company would make such large donations to political parties in another province and suggested that co-owner brewers waste that money on The Beer Store to lobby the BC government to give their brands favourable investments in BC Liquor stores.  The most likely scenario is that the Beer Store and the province will develop an agreement so that they can avoid a very public and costly litigation. But the potential payment plays a role because it will have a big influence on what Canadian taxpayers will eventually lose about Big Beer, whether it is a negotiated solution or not. The beer store is deeply concerned about the impact that rapid changes in beer sales and distribution policies can have on its 7,000 employees, the thousands more who work for its suppliers, Ontario consumers who will pay higher beer prices, and for municipalities that depend on the responsible sale of beer by The Beer Store and the removal of nearly two billion containers of alcohol each year. Nearly 300 more stores in Ontario will sell beer, wine and cider starting next spring. Since then, some Canadian provinces have allowed private businesses to compete with the sale of beer and wine, while maintaining control over the sale of spirits, while Alberta has privatized all liquor stores. No changes have been made in Ontario and The Beer Store continues to sell more than 80% of the beer sold in the province and is the only unit authorized to legally sell packages of 12, 24 packs and other large crates. The beer store has limited competition for the retail sale of 6 packs and singles with the public LCBO, selected supermarkets and individual breweries located in most Ontario breweries. In addition, competition is only from a localization point of view, as prices are maintained uniformly between supermarkets, LCBO and TBS.
Many critics say it is a foreign monopoly. [Who?] The beer store believes that there is an acceptable way for both parties to significantly accelerate the introduction of new beer retail sites in Ontario, while minimizing beer prices among consumers, minimizing the incremental costs of the beer industry and maintaining as much government tax revenue as possible. Most importantly, these amendments would avoid a long-running legal battle and the considerable damage that would result for the government. In the meantime, the existing framework agreement remains the law of the country. The government is already increasing the pressure on the beer shop by promising to maximize the number of grocery stores that sell beer under the agreement.