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UPSE Says Best Prices at Public Liquor Stores

May 14, 2014


The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees, Debbie Bovyer, says "the province just gave Islanders a good reason to shop at public liquor stores. Islanders can save 5% on the price of beer, wine and spirits at the provincial retail outlets. If they go to privately run agency stores they will pay the higher price. The province claims this is just the extra cost of convenience."

"I don't buy the convenience argument fully," says Bovyer. "Convenience depends on who you are speaking to and where they live. In many cases the provincial outlets are closer to Islanders and the provincial stores offer a much better selection at a better price."

Bovyer adds that "many Islanders want to support the public liquor stores not just because they are more convenient, but because they are more socially responsible when it comes to selling alcohol than gas stations and convenience stores. Public liquor stores have trained staff that are knowledgeable about the product they sell and who are very careful to request identification from anyone that looks under the age of twenty-five. Gas stations and convenience stores have less staff available to check identification, the staff are not as well trained, and experience shows more minors gain access to alcohol through these stores.

President Bovyer believes the agency stores have not provided the province with the net gain in profits they were looking for. The agency stores simply took sales away from the public stores in 2013. That is why the province is now raising the prices at the private agency stores. They want to level out sales at the public outlets and try to deal with the extra cost and effort it takes to support the private stores.

The union was surpriced by the Opposition Leader's comments. Bovyer said "Mr. Myers' suggestion to allow more private operators to sell alcohol was irresponsible. Does the Leader of the Opposition want to see public liquor stores shut down and good paying jobs eliminated in PEI? Does he want to see more minors purchasing alcohol? Does he want more drunk drivers on the road?"

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