April 1, 2014 6:35 pm

LCBO to open express kiosks at grocery stores

ABOVE: Global’s Mark Carcasole tells us exactly what the new proposal would mean for liquor sales in grocery stores – and how shoppers in Ontario are taking the news. 

TORONTO – Consumers will soon have more choices to buy liquor products in Ontario.

The Liberal government announced Tuesday plans to open LCBO Express kiosks in grocery stores across the province.

The smaller stores will carry a range of beer, wine and liquor including craft beer and VQA wines.

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A government press release says the express kiosks are part of “modernizing” Ontario’s liquor laws.

“These new Express stores are a way to balance that convenience with social responsibility while further supporting our local industries,” finance minister Charles Sousa said in a press release Tuesday.

Alcohol sales in Ontario in 2012-2013 were valued at approximately $10 billion.

The province started experimenting with the idea last year with a pilot project in 10 grocery stores.

Earlier this year, Premier Kathleen Wynne said her government will not allow corner stores to sell beer and wine but instead choose to”work with the LCBO to increase that distribution network.”

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association – which includes 7-11, Rabba and Mac’s as well as Petro-Canada, Imperial Oil and Canadian Tire – wants the law changed so they can sell alcohol in their establishments.

The Progressive Conservatives are in favour of expanding beer and wine sales to privately owned retail outlets.

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