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Fedeli hints provincial budget will bring beer and wine sales to corner stores

Last Updated Mar 28, 2019 at 11:06 pm EDT

It’s two weeks until the first budget from the Doug Ford government and the provincial finance minister has dropped some hints as to what’s in it — including a big announcement regarding alcohol.

In a speech to the Empire Club on Thursday, Vic Fedeli hinted that the sale of beer and wine in corner stores will be announced in the budget.

“Our government is actively working to expand the sale of beer and wine into corner stores, box stores and even more grocery stores,” Fedeli said.

He said this would lead to competitive prices without the need to privatize valuable government assets — possibly alluding to the LCBO.

Government house leader Todd Smith said the move is something on which the Ford government campaigned.

“This is an election promise that the premier made and that our government made and we’re really, really working on that because I think it’s important to the people of Ontario, ” Smith explained.

However, when asked if this move will help out the bottom line to any great degree, Smith would only say “I think time will tell.”

But not everyone is raising a glass to the news.

Opposition leader Andrea Horwath says it shows how out of whack the Ford government’s priorities are.

“We have a government that’s reducing autism services for kids but making sure that we can have beer in every corner store. I think they have the wrong priorities,” she said.

“If I was the premier of the province, that wouldn’t be my priority.”

The provincial budget will be announced on April 11.