Convenience & Beer (Part 2)

Convenience & Beer (Part 2)

During the last 4 weeks, the OCSA has been working with Anne Kothawala (President CICC) on launching a coalition to enhance and remind government officials of the promise to have beverage alcohol in C stores. We agreed to work together with the OKBA, Craft Brewers Association, Distillers Association and Free My Booze on the attached program using social media and direct communication with government officials of all three parties.


The OCSA looks forward to working with this group with full participation and attendance in meetings and this as it is our industries number one priority going forward in the mandate of this government and ensuring the entire C store industry is represented and consistent in our approach .


Allow me to share some terms of reference to demonstrate the disciplines behind this agreement:


The mandate of the coalition is to ensure that Premier Ford and the Ontario government fulfill the commitment made during the 2018 Election to expand beverage alcohol sales to convenience stores.



Through a series of advocacy and public relation tactics, the objective is to achieve a commitment from Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy in the 2021 Budget to expand beverage alcohol sales to convenience stores across Ontario within 12 months.



The membership of the coalition consists of representation from the following groups and organizations:

  • Coalition Lead:Anne Kothawala, President and CEO, Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC)
  • Dave Bryans, Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA)
  • Grant Dingwall, President, Free My Booze
  • Jan Westcott, Spirits Canada
  • Scott Simmons, Ontario Craft Beer Association
  •      Kenny Shim, Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association (OKBA)

Member Roles and Responsibilities

All coalition members agree to abide to the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Commit to adhering to themandate and objectives of the coalition.
  • Advocate for the shared interests of the coalition.

o   Membership of the coalition does not preclude members from advocating on other priorities of their association, though those priorities should not conflict with the overall objective of this group.

  • Attend meetings (anticipate 3-6 meetings between Q1 & Q2 2021).
  • Maintain confidentiality asrequired.
  • Share and respect diverseviews.



  • A SharedResponsibility
  • Ensuring Accountability
  • Providing Choice and Fairness to Consumers
  • Relationship Building
  • Successful Implementation andTransition



The opportunity and promise to have all convenience stores in Ontario selling beverage alcohol is still a reality as confirmed by the Ontario government. The OCSA will represent our members when it comes to rolling out beer/wine into our channel and ensure membership will be first to enjoy this privilege. 1000’s of C stores want the rights to sell, and this opportunity will take time to implement but rest assured the OCSA will work with the Convenience industry Council of Canada, OKBA, Craft Brewers Association and Distillers Association in a coalition on this file to encourage movement on this file.


Collectively the Coalition has launched the following campaign in social media and within government circles to remind all that this is an ongoing promise to all and will strengthen the convenience sector in every community. The OCSA has images available for you to use in your social media circles to spread the word. Please take time to visit our campaign and remind politicians and customers that we are preparing for the sale in every community.


The new website is as follows:


Please take time to visit and review the program.


Attached please find our joint letter to Minister Bethenfalfy as well as the first three (3) social media ads that will be used in Twitter and LinkedIn . Our first meeting was held last week with Stan Cho (Parliamentary Assistant for Min Finance on this file) and he was very open with strong signals of a continued commitment to our entire industry.


Feel free to reach out at any time if you have any questions and I believe this joint effort sends a strong signal to all suppliers, all particpants as well as the government of our ability to work together on specific industry programs for the betterment of the channel.


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