Reports have it the Conservative Government made a coordinated effort to promote alcohol in convenience stores over the weekend, with both Barrie-area MPPs adding their voices to the fray.
An alcohol-themed tweet was sent out by Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte MPP Doug Downey early Saturday afternoon. Downy tells Barrie 360 the series of tweets from his fellow conservatives was merely good timing. “It’s an issue we campaigned on, it’s an issue that’s in front of the house right now. We made a promise to make life more convenient, so it is a topical issue, and we all seized hold of it in the same time frame.” Downey’s was among the few tweets on the subject not featuring a local convenience store. “Sometimes you’re out somewhere and you think of things, and you want to act on them” added Downey.
Our government wants to put customers first. Beer and wine in corner stores is one way we are doing that. Choice and convenience also supports small businesses. #onpoli #fairness pic.twitter.com/8WpLljQuit— Doug Downey (@douglasdowney) June 1, 2019
Barrie-Innisfil’s representative, Andrea Khanjin did hit up a local business for her tweet regarding corner store beer on Saturday afternoon.
Stopped by my local convenience store to pick up some bread and chips for my BBQ. Thanks to @fordnation , I will soon be able to pick up a case of beer for my guests at the same time! pic.twitter.com/TTFHuhNSM4— Andrea Khanjin (@Andrea_Khanjin) June 1, 2019
A leaked email reportedly instructed many PC MPPs to visit a neighbourhood convenience store and highlight it as a possible future location to buy beer and wine. Downey didn’t confirm or deny the existence of this email, but says the choice to tweet was left up to the individual. “I can tell you that there was a bunch of MPPs that didn’t do it. I couldn’t tell you who did and who didn’t. I know a few who didn’t, for sure. So it was left up to the individual to do it or not.”
The alleged campaign has since been called “misguided” by opposition parties.
This comes as the Ontario Government introduced legislation on Monday, that would see a 10-year agreement with the Beer Store torn up, as the Ford Government moves to make beer and wine more readily available in corner stores.
Dozens of tweets sent out by PC MPPs on Saturday, including from Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, the Health Ministry’s Christine Elliot, and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod.
If you’re picking up some chips and dip at Anthony’s store on Highway 17 East of North Bay, wouldn’t it be nice to grab some beer or a bottle of wine too? We hear you! pic.twitter.com/raiUhBbx37— Victor Fedeli (@VictorFedeli) June 1, 2019
We are giving the people of Newmarket—Aurora choice and convenience when buying beer and wine to enjoy responsibly. Ontarians should be able to support local businesses by buying beer and wine from convenience stores like Andrew’s Convenience. pic.twitter.com/LMSBwqcVk1— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) June 1, 2019
In the national capital region you can already buy beer & wine in corner stores – just across the Ottawa River in Quebec. Time to level the playing field for Nepean businesses & repatriate those dollars back to Ontario. @BellsCornersBIA #bellscornersminimart pic.twitter.com/5mi5awQyAL— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) June 1, 2019
If you’re picking up some chips and dip, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to grab some beer or a bottle of wine too? We hear you!— Rod Phillips (@RodPhillips01) June 1, 2019
Our government wants to give people choice and convenience when buying beer and wine. It’s the fair thing to do!#ONpoli pic.twitter.com/DsHogUbfnP
Like Debbie & Joe, I want to come back here to Kitley Grocery & Service Centre soon to pick up some beer, cider or a bottle of wine. Shopping for beer & wine at stores like this one in Toledo is not only convenient, it supports our hard working local small business owners pic.twitter.com/gdqd3YtGou— Steve Clark (@SteveClarkPC) June 1, 2019