Agency Liquor Stores on PEI a Mistake

Posted May 24, 2012

The Union of Public Sector Employees strongly opposes government's plan to close the provincial liquor store in Wood Islands in favour of peddling alcohol out of convenience stores. The union strongly believes that the move to privatize the sale of alcohol in PEI is problematic on several levels and the decision should be reversed immediately..

Shelley Ward, the President of PEI UPSE, says “the current government has an abysmal record on job creation in Prince Edward Island. They bring in more revenue per year than any other government in the history of this great province, yet they continue to devastate our economy - especially in rural areas. They are closing a profitable and socially responsible LCC outlet that will result in reduced services for Islanders and more jobs lost unnecessarily.”

Ward says, “the PEI Liquor Commission's corporate vision is to be recognized as a truly superior retailer on Prince Edward Island. The LCC steadfastly promotes both quality service and moderation. Alcohol is a serious drug and so is the business of regulating its sale. Islanders and tourists alike have come to depend on access to modern, clean, and safe liquor stores in Prince Edward Island. They are staffed with trained employees who are helpful and courteous, and who encourage responsibility and moderation in the consumption of beverage alcohol.”

Privatizing the sale of alcohol so it can be sold out of gas stations and convenience stores is wrong. Islanders don't want kids selling liquor to kids in PEI!” says President Ward. “This experiment has been tried in other provinces and it leads to more crime, more accidents and less provincial revenue. The government has not done their homework on this issue, yet they are busy courting potential agents before the completion of any formal process has taken place.”

President Ward states that “the government did not consult with the union on the decision to privatize the sale of liquor in PEI, a decision that impacts our members, our communities and the Island way of life. They have done the same thing with the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax. Their plans are ill-informed and demonstrate little accountability to the people of Prince Edward Island.”

Shelley Ward‚

President‚ PEI Union of Public Sector Employees

Please contact Mark Barrett at 892-5335 (or toll-free at 1-800- 897-8773) to arrange an interview.