Beer in local grocery stores not likely

By Angelica Ingram

While the provincial government recently announced that beer would soon be sold in grocery stores those living in Haliburton County may want to contain their excitement.

Details on the beer sales are still minimal with the province announcing earlier this month who the successful bidders were.

A list of 13 retailers were announced as the successful bidders among them are Loblaws Inc and Sobeys Capital Incorporated.

Area grocers fall under these parent companies however store owners haven’t yet heard whether or not they will be carrying beer at their locations.

According to the provincial government’s website locations will be announced in December with 60 stores given authorization to sell beer. That list will eventually expand to include 450 stores.

There are a number of guidelines and criteria stores must adhere to before being permitted to sell alcohol which doesn’t bode well for area stores.

One of the eligibility factors is that stores must have a minimum of 10000 square feet of retail space.

Haliburton Foodland owner Brad Park said he hasn’t heard yet whether or not his store will be selected to sell beer.

He said he would be happy to be a retailer that’s selected to sell beer but it’s not something he’s going to fight for.

“I wouldn’t say no” he said. “Obviously it would be a lot of work to implement but it’d be worth it.”
Todd’s Independent owner Steve Todd has also not heard whether or not he will be a selected retailer.

“Basically what they said is we’ll be notified if we’re in the running” he said. “But if you asked me what the chances are I’d say very slim … I’m not saying it will never happen but I don’t see it happening in the near future.”

Linda Easton owner of Minden’s Valu-Mart is in the same boat having not heard yet if her store will be selected.

According to the provincial government “prior to being able to sell beer these successful grocers must first obtain authorization from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to ensure social responsibility and other criteria are met.”