As Ford seeks political donations, Ontario government insists killing Beer Store deal won't come with hefty penalties - 2019-05-28
The Progressive Conservatives are raising political funds attacking the Beer Store — and insisting a cancelled 10-year deal with the brewers does not expose taxpayers to hefty financial penalties. Amid concerns the province could be on the hook for $1-billion in damages for unilaterally scrapping the master framework agreement with the beer giants, Premier Doug Ford is soliciting donations for the governing party.
"The Beer Store wants to protect its monopoly. Big surprise, right?" the premier said in a fundraising email sent to supporters Tuesday. "Well, it might surprise you to know the Beer Store is owned by three global brewers who were handed a sweetheart deal by the government," added Ford. "We want to end the Beer Store monopoly. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. We're here to do what's right for the people of Ontario. Not wherever a globally owned, government-backed monopoly wants."
While the brewers are warning that litigation is looming, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, who tabled legislation Monday killing the 2015 deal signed by former premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberals, played down concerns of a costly settlement. "It would be premature for anybody — and irresponsible for anybody — to suggest it's going to cost anything. We'll be legislating this," Fedeli told reporters.