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Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Coalition to Take on LCBO; announcmeent expected Monday Dec 8


TRAWNA – (GOSH Wine News Services) – At a stunning announcement to be made at a Press Conference called for Monday December 8 at noon in front of the Queen's Park Legislative Assembly building, the Wine Council of Ontario, the Ontario Viniculture Association, the Wine Producers' Association, The Beer Store, the newly formed Churchill Cellars Stores (with the just merged Vineyard Estates stores and The Wine Rack stores), plus the Colio Estates stores and all the farmgate tasting-room stores of all the fruit and grape wineries of Ontario will promulgate their COALITION (Committee for Alternative Liquor in Toronto, in Ontario, and into the North) to wrest control of sales from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.


The groups had earlier approached the GMG (Grate McGinty) to propose alternative distribution systems for the dissemination of alcoholic beverages in Ontario. And to their great surprise, he agreed. "The time has come," he said, "for the private sector to propose alternative ways of doing business. This PPP (public-private-partnerships) is an ideal situation. The numbers crunch. The good people of Ontario will see the price of alcohol come down, and the revenues to the provincial coffers will increase."


The immediate question was what to do with the LCBO, A Crown Corporation within the province of Ontario, A Have-Not Province. It was suggested by a source -- who was familiar with the announcement and the meeting with the GMG but who also wishes to retain anonymity because he was involved with the necessary activities that led up to the announcement -- that the larger stores could be turned into shopping malls and condos, which would allow them to continue to show a slight but none-the-less appreciated  profit for the public coffers.


The smaller LCBO stores would continue to be boutique operations, offering Vintages Products, which represent some 8% of the total operation of the former LCBO and 92% of the headaches. The LCBO is unfortunately mired down in many programs of Vintages delivery, and this has contributed to the COALITION's grab for power. The LCBO would retain such programs as Internet Sales, Vintages, Vintages Online, Classics Catalogue, Classics Online, Vintages Essentials, Vintages Insider's Direct Sales, Vintages Holiday Sales, Vintages Holiday Fizz Sale, Vintages Special Air Miles Promotion Sales, Monthly Vintages Air Miles Promotion Sales, InStore Discoveries, Vintages Limited Time Offers, Classics Limited Time Offers, Rapid Release Program, Go-to-Market Program, Craft Winery Program, plus the various Delist Opportunities, InStore Disappearances, and coin operated washrooms. The Vintages Auctions Program will be re-evaluated in light of the economic downturns; many safe items such as Australian cask wines and imported tetrapaks did not even make their opening bids.


A response is anticipated from the LCBO after the head office staff return from their policy sessions.


At the Press Conference, the Federal Government is also expected to announce that Santa Claus has been exempted from the 1928 Act that prohibits carrying alcohol across provincial boundaries.


Pierogies, the new buzzword in food products, will be served. More on this and other stories as they relate to the COALITION's power struggles with the LCBO when they develop…




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