Canadian liquor stores pull Russian products amid attack on Ukraine

Click to play video: 'Alberta Premier Jason Kenney directs AGLC to remove Russian liquor products from store shelves'
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney directs AGLC to remove Russian liquor products from store shelves
Alberta could be joining other Canadian provinces by pulling Russian liquor products off store shelves. Premier Kenney made the announcement Friday night as calls grow for a boycott. Chris Chacon explains – Feb 26, 2022

Crown liquor stores in several Canadian provinces were pulling Russian products from their shelves Friday in light of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

A spokeswoman said Friday that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation decided to pull Russia-produced products “given the terrible events taking place” in Ukraine.

Beverley Ware said the stores sold three products from the Russian Standard line.

“The products are being removed today and we have also removed them from our web site. We’re also notifying operators of Agency stores so they can also remove this product from their shelves,” she said in an email.

New Brunswick liquor stores were going through the same process.

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A spokeswoman said Alcool NB Liquor was “in the process of voluntarily removing” products from Russia in response to the situation.

“We are currently reviewing our portfolio and contacting our store teams to make sure all relevant products are removed,” Marie-Andree Bolduc said.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation tweeted that it had decided to remove “products of Russian origin” from stores, including Russian Standard Vodka and Russian Standard Platinum Vodka.

Other province’s Crown liquor stores made similar moves throughout the day.

In Ontario, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said he was directing the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to withdraw products produced in Russia.

“Ontario joins Canada’s allies in condemning the Russian government’s act of aggression against the Ukrainian people and we strongly support the federal government’s efforts to sanction the Russian government,” Bethlenfalvy said in an emailed statement.

“We will continue to be there for the Ukrainian people during this extremely difficult time.”

A spokeswoman for Bethlenfalvy said the LCBO carries approximately 25 Russian-produced products, and said the government was told stores could remove them within 24 hours.

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The Progressive Conservative government’s announcement came hours after provincial Liberal leader wrote to the LCBO’s CEO with a similar request.

“Ontario and the LCBO can’t say it’s truly standing with Ukraine while continuing to be Putin’s customer,” Steven Del Duca wrote earlier in the day.

Manitoba Liquor Mart made a similar statement.

“Among the thousands of products we carry, only two came from Russia — one vodka, Russian Standard Vodka, and one single-serve beer, Baltika 7 Premium Lager. We have removed those two products from shelves in all Manitoba Liquor Marts,” it wrote on its Twitter account.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began early Thursday with a series of missile strikes quickly followed by a ground assault.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2022.


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