Convenience store campaigners hope to persuade the government to allow them to sell alcohol

Convenience store campaigners hope to persuade the government to allow them to sell alcohol

Campaigners' hopes of forcing the Canadian government to allow Ontario convenience stores to sell alcohol appear to have stalled, according to local reports. 

Earlier this week, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association delivered a 112,500-signature strong petition to the government, calling for the rules to be relaxed, the Toronto Star reported. The petition was headed "Free our Beer".

Dave Bryans, the association's chief executive branded the current rules "archaic". “It makes no sense to anyone that beer and wine can be sold at LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) 'agency stores' in rural areas, which also sell food and snacks, but not in corner stores," he was reported as saying. 

But a government spoksperson said the administration believes Ontarians are "well served by the current retail system for beverage alcohol."

She added: "The current system balances access for both customers and suppliers with social responsibility. We take the concerns of convenience store owners seriously, but we believe the current system of selling liquor is an effective way to guard the public interest.”

The issue has rumbled on for many years, but successive governments have yet to liberalise the laws, despite previous promises.