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Manitoba Tories Pitch Expanded Liquor Sales in Private Retail

September 24, 2023 8:32 PM | News

Liquor Store

A person walks past shelves of bottles of alcohol on display at an outlet in Ottawa on Thursday, March 19, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

WINNIPEG — The Progressive Conservative Party vowed Sunday to bring expanded liquor sales to Manitoba grocery stores, if re-elected.

The PCs previously introduced a bill in the Manitoba legislature to expand the sale of liquor to other vendors outside of Liquor Marts, but it didn’t pass.

“Our PC Team has fought to allow more consumer choice when it comes to liquor sales,” said Kevin Klein, PC candidate for Kirkfield Park.

“But (NDP leader) Wab Kinew blocked the bill each step of the way. Worse, he influenced his union leader buddies to cause an unnecessary strike this year—and blocked Manitobans from buying liquor products this summer.”

The PCs say they would reintroduce legislation within the first legislative session if re-elected as government, adding the bill will be based on consultations with the industry and with Manitobans.

The Manitoba government would remain the exclusive wholesaler of liquor in the province, Klein added.

More Liquor Mart Express locations needed: union

The Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union said Sunday the government needs to establish additional Liquor Mart Express locations within grocery stores, instead of allowing the stores themselves to sell liquor.

“Public liquor sales generate more than $300 million in profits every year that are used to fund health care and other public services that Manitoba families count on,” said MGEU president Kyle Ross.

“The premier’s schemes to privatize liquor sales would hand those profits to private company shareholders and blow a $300 million hole in the budget for health care and other public services. At a time when our health care system is already in crisis, it just doesn’t make sense.”

The provincial election is October 3.