Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nanny State Knows Best

By now my readers outside of Ontario must be sick of my constant harangue against the Ontario government. I apologize and hope to soon expand my tirades to be more inclusive of all Canadians.

However, Dalton McGuinty just keeps providing fodder. What else can I do?

And when you think about it, our problems become your problems by extension. If McGuinty buys up land to appease native reclamation conflicts and spends a fortune on policing, all he has to do is whine loud enough and then you guys have to help pick up the tab.

Now I'm not sure how our being forced to buy booze only in government-approved unionized venues affects you, (other than if you happen to visit this bastion of state-controlled socialism), but our underlying malaise will no doubt manifest itself in a self-fulfilling prophesy of increasing dependence on anyone other than ourselves. That means you guys out west.

Anyway, Dalton McGuinty obviously thinks that convenience store clerks and owners are some kind of subhuman species that can't be trusted:

"It's much easier for us to maintain security through the (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) and the Beer Store than to give that power to thousands of convenience stores," Mr. McGuinty said in response to a question. "Just look at the business with the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.)"

Dave Bryans, president of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association is not amused:

Mr. Bryans said it was "unfortunate" that Mr. McGuinty linked the proposal to the lottery scandal because it involved a minority of retailers. Convenience store clerks regularly sell more adult products than any LCBO clerk and ensure they don't end up in the hands of minors, he said.

But never let facts get in the way of a good obfuscation, Dalton.

Meanwhile, the stink is leading us ever closer to the Big Cheese, with John Tory releasing ads of an alleged coverup, and confronting Dalton in Question Period about secret meetings:

For a second day in a row, Conservatives released information they say implicates staff in Premier Dalton McGuinty's office.

Mr. Tory said someone tipped him off to a meeting between Wilson Lee, chief of staff to the minister responsible for the OLG, and David Caplan, months before Mr. Caplan says he learned of the problems.

Representatives from the Premier's office told Mr. Caplan's representative that the insider wins issue was a public relations issue, "essentially saying, 'Don't worry your pretty little head about it,' " Mr. Tory said.

Mr. McGuinty did not acknowledge the meeting when it was raised during Question Period...

Well, obviously whatever actually happened was done for our own collective good. No doubt these issues are far more complex than our little minds could appreciate.

Now I'm waiting for the first state-regulated, heavily-unionized Popcorn Control Board of Ontario to be opened. I just hope it's near the Beer Store.

* * * *

Update: McGuinty fights back.

More at Jack's Newswatch.


glenda said...

Don't apologize to our western cousins. I'm sure they feel our pain. Is there an Elections Ontario law that prevents campaign contributions from outside the province?

Kelly said...

My husband does not really want beer and wine to be sold in convience stores for an entirely different reason. He is a wine connoisseur and worries that the small retail stores would not go to the expense of bringing in varied and different wines from other countries. The LCBO has enough buying power to be able to get in speciality wines. Just a thought. I'm not against it being sold in retail stores or grocery stores at all. Just don't want to lose the speciality end of the market in the process.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Is there an Elections Ontario law that prevents campaign contributions from outside the province?

Glenda, good question. I don't think there are any advertising restrictions of any kind until the writ is dropped.

Kelly, you raise some good points. However, in this case, the MPP who is trying to raise this issue is merely talking about selling Ontario products in the convenience stores; much like the little wine kiosks in the large grocery stores, I suppose.

There would still be a place for the LCBO and its huge Walmart-like buying abilities. This bill would merely give local businesses a bit of an advantage, but I understand there are legal issues with that anyway. So it likely won't happen.

kelly said...

Ahh, maybe I should have read the whole thing! They should be allowed to sell ontario products. If grocery stores can, why not small retailers?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kelly, don't worry. I didn't pick up that distinction right away either.

However the big unions are against the whole concept so I'm sure that's why Dalton is also against it.

His number one rule is don't upset unions or natives.

glenda said...

I was joking but damn that is an interesting question.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I was joking but damn that is an interesting question.

lol! I figured that was what you were intending, but yeah... We might have something here.

I'll bet if we took up a collection across Canada to get rid of Dalton we'd get a lot of support!!!

nomdeblog said...

Kelly , I know you are being reasonable but just to pick up on your example, which is a good one because the unions have done a good job of hoodwinking the Toronto Annex crowd and their wine fetishes:

…if there’s a market for your husband’s foreign wines then they will be marketed whether or not it's privatized. If there isn’t a market for your husband’s unusual wines then the LCBO is subsidizing them, and why should I subsidize your husband’s wines?

Similarly, why do we subsidize the CBC a billion dollars a year so 5 people can listen to Bach? It would be cheaper to buy them all of Bach’s CD’s.

Anyway, the issue here is all about the unions whose only future is in the governement monopoly business like the LCBO. The same unions that Dion and the goal tender want to give a monopoly to so that they can look after your daycare needs. Once they get the day care monopoly these unions will be saying like the LCBO that they are the only ones to be trusted with the welfare of your kids, you aren’t responsible enough.

nomdeblog said...

Oh and there’s this...

In 2005 a report was made by John Lacey formerly an executive with Loblaws and his panel of experts concluded this .. (which was ignored by McGuinty) …..
Some may prefer to keep the system as it is and muddle through. This, however, would solidify the existing vested interests and make it much harder to effect change in the future.
After 78 years, action is long overdue. It is time to transform Ontario's beverage alcohol system. I close with what I believe are the real outcomes of our recommendations:
1. the consumer would get greater convenience and choice and would benefit from a competitive retail environment;
2. the government would remove itself from investment risk while increasing its annual revenues;
3. Ontario would continue to benefit from sound social responsibility practices; and
4. the existing commercial inequities would have been materially addressed.
John Lacey

Read the whole thing :

nomdeblog said...

sorry , try this

Tamara said...

Joanne - as an Albertan, I am very interested in reading your posts about Ontario, actually. It's interesting to see the differences in culture that make for some of the baffling differences in opinion, politics, etc. Feel free to keep posting them!

And Kelly - I think your husband would probably actually prefer an open liquor market once he got to try it... we have specialty wine shops here that have stuff I never could find while living in BC (where the government controls the liquor stores). Much bigger selection!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nomdeblog, thanks. I'm going to check that out.

Tamara, thanks for your support. I appreciate it and I'm glad I'm not boring you folks out there.

I guess you are just happy not to be living back in the Dark Ages as we are here in Ontario. Albertans and Quebecers must be so much more responsible than us! Otherwise, why would we not have these choices as well?

Anonymous said...

Ok, here is something that may not have expected to hear from me Joanne. Here is Zac's opinion:

1) Break the LCBO union.
We don't need people getting paid $17 to stock shelves with booze. Break the union - bring down the costs.

2) Allow private retailers to sell beer and wine in their stores. It would provide variety and allow greater access (as opposed to closing the Beer Store at 6pm on Sundays. WTF? People drink on Sundays)

3) Lower the drinking age to 18.


Anonymous said...

Ahem...sorry. $17/hour to stock shelves.

Brian in Calgary said...

I'll bet if we took up a collection across Canada to get rid of Dalton we'd get a lot of support!

You'd sure get support from me.

PGP said...

Nicely put Jo!

Unfortunately ... John Tory who I will have to refer to from now on as J Sorry! is proving to be incapable of understanding how much free ammunition he's getting from Mc Personality!

"Secret Meetings" ??? Lame O....

Just pathetic ...... is it his advisors? Is it the team of MLA's?

Is it JSorry himself?

I'll have to write to Hugh McFadden and point out J Sorry as an object lesson of what not to do!

Sandy said...

Love the title Joanne. But, in reading the comments from your readers, we could use all the help we can get. We can start a "get rid of McGuinty" campaign. Have everyone call their friends and relatives in Ontario. Spread the word. LOL While we are at it, would people please phone their friends and relatives in Newfoundland or Labrador -- start a "get rid of Williams" campaign as well. One of my commenters said there was a radio all-in show this morning in NFLD and people were actually suggesting we get rid of Harper. Those callers must be TOTALLY out of touch out there on the island! In that case, the Nanny is Williams!

kelly said...

Nomdeblog, You make a good point that if there is a market for something, it will be sold. It would probably be in toronto (3 hours from us), but we end up travelling there anyway. Good point about the subsidization of the CBC and it being cheaper to buy the CD's - could you translate that into wine and buy me some? :)

Tamara: I didn't realize that Alberta had speciality wine shops. How long has that been going on and do you think they are doing well?
I'd be willing to have a go at an open liquor market, and I agree with Zac that it would be great to have better hours of operation. And the legal age for drinking used to be 18. Can't remember why they changed it, but it never made sense to me that you were adult enough to vote, but not to drink. (and did changing it to 19 make any real difference?)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ok, here is something that may not have expected to hear from me Joanne

You're darn right I didn't expect that! I kept waiting for the punchline.

Zac, I can't see anything to disagree with. And the age of majority could probably lowered to 18, as long as there is adequate education for kids about the dangers of drinking and driving, etc.

Swift said...

The age for drinking was raised to nineteen to prevent eighteen year olds frm buying booze for their underage high school classmates. This was before they killed grade 13. This didn't stop many underage kids from getting booze, of course. But it did mean the government of the day coulsd say "We care about the kids."

Mac said...

True personal story: I celebrated my 18th birthday with a round of beers at the El Mocambo in Toronto. So much for the legal drinking age.