A funny thing happened on the way back to the office.
Returning from scrums Thursday, a QP Briefing reporter came across a Liberal MPP standing in the hall in front of a camera. And the MPP sure sounded like she was reciting a list of grocery stores that now sell beer, cider and wine.
Loosening up Ontario’s old-timey liquor laws has been a point of pride for the Liberal government, which announced earlier this week the locations of 76 additional grocery stores that can sell beer, cider and wine by Canada Day. There are about 130 supermarkets already authorized to sell those libations, and the government says it will make them available in up to 450 grocery stores.
"The winning grocers were selected via a competitive bidding process held by the LCBO," stated the province's press release.
QP Briefing has mapped out the location of these supermarkets, as well as the location of the previously announced grocery stores allowed to sell beer, cider and wine. Each location is also marked with the political riding it is located in, the party that represents the area and what alcohol can be bought there.
Of the 201 locations that have been published, 115 are in Liberal ridings, 51 are on Progressive Conservative turf and 33 are in NDP districts. Two grocery stores are in Sault Ste. Marie, where a byelection will be held June 1.
The Liberals have 57 of the 107 seats in the legislature right now, or 53 per cent. They have just over 57 per cent of the grocery stores with beer. The Tories have approximately 25 per cent of the grocery stores with beer, and 29 of the 107 seats in the legislature, or about 27 per cent. The NDP have 20 of the 107 seats, or about 19 per cent, and around 16 per cent of the grocery stores with beer.
The riding that has the most grocery stores with beer is Vaughan, represented by Liberal MPP Steven Del Duca, which has nine. By QP Briefing’s count, 17 ridings don’t have a grocery store selling beer yet. Those districts include that of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Hamilton-Centre.
The chain with the most grocery stores selling beer in Ontario is Walmart, with 32 stores, including 27 locations that were announced this week. Second is Sobeys, with 28 supermarkets selling suds.
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