Ford releases online map of alternative alcohol shops during LCBO strike

Ford shared a video of him grilling up red meat surrounded by beer, neither of which he reportedly consumes

Ontario Premier Doug Ford released a video on Monday unveiling an online map that displays licensed alcohol retailers across the province.

In a video shared on the Premier’s X account on Monday, Ford announced that the new map, available on the province’s website, features a growing list of “beer, wine, cider, coolers, and even spirit” retailers across Ontario.

Ford is seen in the video grilling burgers on a backyard deck next to a selection of Ontario craft beers. He then sits down with a laptop and showcases the searchable map, released on Monday after about 9,000 Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) workers walked off the job last week.

“Say you want to buy some Ontario craft beer, just zoom in on where you are, click the filter for beer, and look at all the fantastic options that pop up,” he says.

Alcohol sales in Ontario will be expanded to include more retailers, the province announced earlier this year. Grocery stores will be allowed to sell ready-to-drink cocktails starting next month. In September, beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink cocktail sales will be rolled out at convenience stores and additional supermarkets.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario said Friday it has already issued 2,813 convenience store licences.

The union representing striking LCBO workers criticized the planned expansion, which has been a major sticking point in negotiations.

“If we let Doug Ford continue with his plan to privatize alcohol sales to enrich his billionaire grocery and convenience chain CEO buddies, not only will our jobs be at stake, but so will our public services like health care, education and infrastructure,” a statement from Ontario Public Service Employees Union released on Monday said.

The union has also cited job security, wage increases and more full-time roles for its workers, 70 per cent of whom work casual, as its main concerns.

If the strike continues after two weeks, the LCBO plans to open 32 locations three days a week with limited hours.

National Post, with files from The Canadian Press

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