Doug Ford's corner store beer consultant to make $1,000 a day - 2019-04-03
The former Alberta cabinet minister advising Premier Doug Ford's government on a revamp of Ontario's alcohol retailing will be paid $1,000 a day, the Star has learned. Ken Hughes was hired two weeks ago by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli to be the Progressive Conservatives' point person on negotiating changes to pave the way for beer and wine to be sold in corner stores.
His compensation will be $1,000 a day, to a maximum of $200,000 over his one-year contract, plus expenses. By comparison, retired TD Bank chair Ed Clark earned just $1 a year when he advised former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne on bringing beer and wine sales to 450 of Ontario's 1,500 supermarkets. Hughes's experience in Alberta's liquor business started before the province privatized its stores, and continued afterwards. Corporate filings show he was a partner in Alberta Spirits Inc., which was incorporated in 1988. Alberta's Progressive Conservative government sold off the province's liquor stores five years later. Alberta Spirits Inc. was eventually sold to a company now known as Alcanna, which, among other things, operates Liquor Depot, Alberta's largest booze retailer.
By the time he was elected provincially in 2012, where he served in former PC premier Alison Redford's cabinet in energy and municipal affairs, he was no longer in the liquor business. Hughes, who was not made available for comment by the government, has a goal of expanding the sale of alcohol to corner, grocery and big box stores.