Doug Ford under fire after sharing online tool listing Ontario alcohol sellers

The premier's new initiative comes mere days after LCBO workers went on strike

Doug Ford booze

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has come under fire after promoting where residents can purchase alcohol in the province amid the LBCO strikes.

On X (Twitter), Ford shared a video in which he breaks down a new interactive online map featuring non-LCBO Ontario alcohol sellers while he jovially grills some burgers on the BBQ in his backyard.

“We’ve created this handy new map that shows what stores are open and what they sell,” says Ford. For example, Ontarians can search for craft beer, specifically, and the tool will display available sellers of that type of alcohol near your location. An address and directions to get there will also be listed alongside what they’re licensed to sell.

Naturally, Ford — who ironically once claimed he doesn’t even drink — frames the tool as an “opportunity to support Ontario producers and their fantastic Ontario-made products this summer.” Altogether, there are 2,300 Ontario locations that are still able to sell alcohol, including LCBO Convenience Outlets.

But of course, the timing of the video proved controversial, coming mere days after over 9,000 LCBO employees represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) walked off the job and 669 locations were closed. Those on strike are calling for increased wages, a greater number of full-time jobs and job protections in their collective agreement. Ford’s video also comes after other controversial closures in Ontario, including, most notably, the Ontario Science Centre.

“You’re using public dollars to break a strike, undermine workers rights & to destroy an agency that generates $2.5 Billion [sic] for healthcare & other services,” responded Kim’s Convenience star Jean Yoon. 

“Wait — you’re using this video to attack the LCBO?” asked another X user.

“Throughout the pandemic crisis I and other volunteers stepped up and created interactive maps to help Ontarians better understand what was going on in their area. The province did next to nothing. But LCBO’s closed? Doug Ford roared to life,” COVID-19 researcher Bill Comeau said in a post quoting Ford.

But hey, it’s not exactly surprising that booze is a priority for Doug “Open for Business” Ford, especially given his failed ‘Buck a Beer’ campaign and plans to expand the number of alcohol sellers in the province.

Image credit: Government of Ontario

Source: Doug Ford (@fordnation)

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