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Ontario Premier Ford Faces Backlash for Promoting Alcohol Sales Amid LCBO Worker Strike



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Ontario Premier Doug Ford has sparked controversy with a video promoting alternative alcohol shopping options as Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) workers, represented by the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), initiate their first-ever strike in the province.

In the video shared on X, Ford encourages Ontarians to purchase local alcoholic beverages during the ongoing strike, highlighting a new interactive map that lists various licensed alcohol vendors in the province, including LCBO Convenience Outlets.

Despite the strike affecting approximately 9,000 employees, Ford emphasizes that there are still ample choices for consumers to buy beer, wine, cider, coolers, and spirits, all produced in Ontario.

The strike was triggered by failed negotiations between the LCBO and OPSEU, with the contentious sale of pre-mixed drinks at corner and grocery stores being a focal point in dispute.

As the strike persists, Ford’s push for alternative alcohol shopping has faced swift backlash on social media platforms like X, with critics such as Adil Shamji, a Liberal MPP for Don Valley East, expressing discontent over the Premier’s priorities.

Laura Walton, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, also took to X to advocate for interactive maps highlighting essential services like accessible healthcare and fully staffed emergency rooms.

OPSEU bargaining chair Colleen MacLeod condemned Ford’s actions, accusing him of undermining LCBO employees and favoring big-box retailers in the alcohol market.

Ford’s government remains committed to expanding alcohol sales in convenience and grocery stores, despite the ongoing strike. The province urges OPSEU to resume negotiations and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Rachel Adams

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