OCSA Applauds Ford Government’s Passage of Bill 115

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), and the 6,000 neighborhood and family-run businesses it represents, is thrilled at the passage of Bill 115, the Bringing Choice and Fairness to the People Act (Beverage Alcohol Retail Sales), 2019.

This is fantastic news for Ontarians and the neighbourhod retailers who are a part of every community in this province,

said Dave Bryans, CEO, Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA).

It’s good news for consumers who will get more choice and convenience, good news for Ontario craft breweries and wineries, and sets the stage for job creation for all of our industries.”

Today’s passage of Bill 115 will help bring the system into the modern era, said Bryans, adding that the diverse selection of craft breweries, wineries, and cideries in Ontario is unique and consumers want to enjoy the products they love while supporting local businesses. Ontario convenience stores believe that expanding to convenience, grocery and big box retail stores will unlock new valuable opportunities.

“The OCSA started our FreeOurBeer.ca campaign in the summer of 2011,” added Bryans. “Since then we’ve connected with millions of Ontarians in our stores, collected over 400,000 petition signatures, and been having a dialogue with government and industry about the benefits of modernizing beer and wine retailing for Ontario. There is still more work to do, and we look forward to collaborating with all brewers, wineries, and the government to create a system that works to deliver on the goals that Premier Ford committed his government to.”
Ontario convenience stores are the leader in selling age-restricted products responsibly – the most recent data from the Ontario government shows that convenience stores are 96.2 per cent successful at denying these products to people under 19. No other retailer is checked as thoroughly as convenience stores, and no other retail channel has publicly demonstrated comparable success rates at age verification, said Bryans. Convenience store owners and employees are more than equipped to bring this expertise to alcohol sales – making sure these products are sold responsibly.

The Ontario government is setting up a win-win situation for consumers and businesses, says Bryans, adding that more retailing space for breweries and wineries means more opportunity for business growth and job creation for both producers and retailers – jobs in communities across Ontario and choice and convenience for consumers.

Strong growth is possible if small industries are given the opportunity to compete on a more level playing-field, noted Bryans.