The Beer Store Is Flat Out Wrong on Consumer Choice

Toronto, ON —On February 1st, Ontario’s public consultation on alcohol policy officially closed. The Ford Government sought out feedback on how Ontario could modernize its alcohol market. Unfortunately, some entities, like The Beer Store, have actively pushed back against increased consumer access. The Beer Store’s President Ted Moroz recently argued that if the province allows for beer sales in corner stores that “the price of beer in Ontario is likely to go up and 7,000 jobs are going to be put at risk across Ontario.”.

David Clement, Toronto based North American Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said that “The Beer Store arguing against increased consumer access is nothing more than a crony institution clawing on to its selective benefits,” said Clement.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that The Beer Store continue to be shielded from competition. The legislation¬†and agreements that mandate this protection should be immediately addressed so Ontario consumers can have more choice when it comes to where they purchase beer,” said Clement.

“Moroz’s claim that increased competition will drive prices up, and put the entirety of The Beer Store’s workforce at risk is fearmongering and deceitful. Our hope is that Premier Doug Ford listens to consumers, and not The Beer Store, when it comes to how Ontario should modernize alcohol sales,” said Clement.

Beyond ignoring the ridiculous statements put forward by The Beer Store, we recommend that the Province do the following:

  • Rip up Ontario’s 10-year agreement with The Beer Store
  • End the LCBO’s monopoly on the sale of spirits
  • Allow for alcohol sales at businesses already trusted to sell age-restricted goods
  • Un-cap the number of licenses for alcohol retail
  • Eliminate price uniformity to encourage competition
  • Allow for retailers to purchase directly from producers

***CCC North American Affairs Manager David Clement is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

How Doug Ford can modernize Ontario’s alcohol market

Doug Ford has built his brand on putting the people, who are ultimately consumers, first.

Refining Ontario’s alcohol market was a priority for Doug Ford on the campaign trail. He proudly proclaimed that convenience stores provincewide should be able to sell beer and wine. Since taking office, he’s reduced minimum pricing on beer, cancelled an incoming provincial beer tax increase, and recently expanded hours for retail sale. Despite these positive steps forward, there is still much that Premier Ford can do to further modernize Ontario’s alcohol market.

Ultimately, any changes that the government makes will require them to end the 10-year agreement that Kathleen Wynne signed with The Beer Store in 2015. The agreement allows the government to open up beer and wine sales to 400 grocery stores, but prohibits any other reforms until 2025. Ford has promised to tear up this deal, and doing so will have to be his first step toward reform.

After that, the government will have to sort out the process by which expanded private retail will take place, and who can qualify to sell alcohol. This process should include different options for retail sale. Specifically, the Ford government should allow for private sale at Ontario convenience stores, grocery stores, standalone private stores that exclusively sell alcohol, or any store, for that matter, that can meet the licensing requirements. Incorporating store variety into the modernization process ensures that the market is as open and consumer-friendly as possible.

With all shapes and sizes of stores qualifying for a licence, the next major question is the amount of stores that the province will distribute licenses to. Many will call for a cap on the amount for stores that can qualify for private alcohol sale. A cap of any sort would be a huge mistake, and wildly inconsistent given that the province will eventually have no cap for private cannabis retail sale. As Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said publicly, the benefit to uncapping retail outlets means that the amount of retail outlets is set by market demand, and not by government decree.

In terms of licensing qualifications, the Ontario government should follow Ford’s anti-red tape mantra. The process for licensing these stores should be as simple, and consistent, as possible. One important note here is that the province of Ontario already has a process for private retailers to sell age-prohibited goods (tobacco and gambling). If these stores can be trusted to sell those age-restricted goods, then there is no justification to not extend their license to the sale of alcohol. Simply put, if we allow for private retailers to sell tobacco products, which are exponentially more risky and dangerous than alcohol, then there is no reason not to trust these outlets to sell alcohol.

Once qualifications and the licensing process are established, the next major hurdle is what these outlets will be allowed to sell. Right now the LCBO has a near monopoly on the sale of spirits. Because of this, when Ontarians stroll down the alcohol section at their local grocery store, spirits are noticeably absent from store shelves. In order to truly modernize retail sale in Ontario, the government should get rid of the monopoly the LCBO has on the sale of spirits. Doing so would allow for retail outlets to offer consumers a full product range on their shelves, which would be exponentially more convenient than today’s system. Having outlets that are permitted to offer a full product range means that consumers can do all of their shopping in one place. This not only increases consumer choice, but also creates a more level playing field for the various producers of alcohol beverages. If the government were to proceed with allowing only beer and wine into private stores, it would disadvantage spirits producers who would unfairly be left with only a single retail option: the LCBO. If beer and wine producers are afforded the ability to sell their products to consumers in private retail stores, the same should be allowed for spirits.

Finally, the Ford government must overhaul Ontario’s antiquated pricing and distribution systems for alcoholic beverages. Currently, prices are set by producers and are mandated to be fixed across all retailers. This policy eliminates price competition, which artificially keeps prices high and hurts consumers. Simply put — Ontarians will never see lower prices for beer, wine, and spirits as long as this rule exists. With regards to distribution, the province should amend legislation so that retailers can purchase their products directly from producers and allow for retailers to bypass the LCBO as the perpetual middle man.

These simple changes would go a long way toward creating a truly modern, and consumer friendly model for alcohol sales. That being said, there are numerous critics of the policies just outlined. For example, Ontario’s Public Sector Union (OPSEU) has argued that increasing the amount of retail outlets for alcohol sale will cause an increase in instances of impaired driving. If we look at the example provided by OPSEU, which is Alberta alcohol privatization, retail outlets after privatization increased from 208 in 1993 to over 1400 in 2017. Products available to consumers over that same time period increased from 2200 in 1993, to nearly 23,000 in 2017. Despite the drastic increase in access, research from economist Heather Bone shows that instances of impaired driving did not actually increase. In fact, instances of impaired driving decreased in response to alcohol privatization at a rate that is statistically significant. This means that increased access had the opposite impact OPSEU is claiming.

Other critics will argue that private retail outlets can’t be trusted to sell alcohol products, and that such products will end up in the hands of minors. We know from secret shopper programs that private retailers are more likely to ID than government stores. In 2016, only 67 per cent of “secret shoppers” were properly asked for ID at the LCBO. In comparison, recent program numbers show that Ontario convenience stores have a compliance rate of nearly 96 per cent. Furthermore, this argument ignores the fact that 212 ‘LCBO Agency Stores’ — privately owned convenience stores in rural Ontario, currently sell a full range of alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and spirits.

The last foreseeable critique is the end of the LCBO’s monopoly on the sale of spirits. Critics will state that because spirits are of a higher alcohol percentage, that they should be more strictly controlled, and thus only sold via government retail outlets. This argument doesn’t hold a glass of water when you consider that government stores are less likely to sell responsibly. That said, it is true that spirits generally have a higher alcohol percentage when compared to beer and wine. Although that is true, it misses the key fact that an ounce of a liquor has the same impact as a bottle of beer. When looked at through the lens of that reality, a bottle of spirits (750 ml) is comparable to purchasing a 24 pack of beer. Simply put, a drink is a drink, and there isn’t a good justification to treat products differently based on their percentage. In fact, this is exactly what was stated in the government of Ontario’s own Beverage Alcohol System Review from 2005. When the province sought advice on how to modernize alcohol sales, getting rid of the monopoly on spirits sales was on the list of recommendations.

Doug Ford has built his brand on putting the people, who are ultimately consumers, first. Adopting these simple changes will go a long way toward eroding Ontario’s prohibition style retail market, and putting consumers front and centre when it comes to government policy.

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center. Follow him on Twitter at @ClementLiberty

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center. Follow him on Twitter at @ClementLiberty

Originally published at https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/9102325-how-doug-ford-can-modernize-ontario-s-alcohol-market/

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Eighty-Five years since prohibition, but have we learnt anything?

This Wednesday was a special day. In the Netherlands, Dutch children celebrated the coming of Sinterklaas (along with his controversial helper Zwarte Piet). Walt Disney would have celebrated his 117th birthday. It was also world soil day, apparently. But the 5th of December 2018 also marked a particularly special anniversary: the end of prohibition in the United States. Eighty-five years ago, the Twenty First Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, officially repealing the Eighteenth Amendment banning the sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors. After thirteen years, American citizens could at last enjoy a drink, legally.

Today, prohibition is widely regarded as a colossal failure. Driven by pressure from the Temperance Movement, who saw alcohol and the drunkenness it causes as detriments to society. Alcohol was blamed for crime, disorder, and poverty. A ban on booze, it was seemingly thought, would protect drinkers from themselves, and society from their behaviour while under-the-influence.

Of course, this wasn’t the case. Rather than eradicating the American market for booze, it simply drove the import, production, and sale of drinks into the hands of bootleggers and mafiosos.

In fact, the black market for booze during the prohibition era was so vastly profitable that some have credited the ban with creating the modern mafia. The total control over the market for alcohol provided a great incentive for gangs, such as those that came with the mass immigration from Italy in the late-1900s, to transform from small-time racketeers to firm-like, hierarchical organisations.

While these gangs certainly filled a gap with their black-market liquor and speakeasies, consumers and the rest of society undoubtedly suffered. Gangs, famously, preferred to treat friendly competition with a pair of concrete shoes than a new marketing campaign. Meanwhile, those indulging in illegal booze received no protection from the state, and no guarantee of what exactly went into their drink. While gangsters made millions, everyone else had to pay the price.

So, the eighty-five year anniversary of the death of such a disastrous attempt at social engineering undoubtedly warrants celebrating (perhaps with a drink?). But have we actually learned from the experience?

Not fully. In fact, you could read through the first half of this article, replace ‘booze’ with ‘cocaine’ or ‘cannabis’, and ‘Mafia’ with ‘Cartel’, and you’d have a pretty accurate description of the ongoing war on drugs.

Just like the Americans of the 1920s who fancied a beer, someone wanting to indulge in something harder today is left fully at the whims of organised criminals, and receives no help from the state. According to the drug policy alliance, almost 1.4 million people in the US have been arrested solely on possession charges.

Moreover, consumers of drugs today often have no guarantee that what they’re taking is actually what they paid for. While cities like Amsterdam now offer anonymous testing of substances, most people have no way if they just snorted a line of coke or laundry detergent.

Meanwhile, those selling on the black market enjoy participation in a global industry worth an estimated half a trillion dollars. While cartels and drug runners line their pockets, however, the communities around them have to deal with the violence and murder that comes whenever markets become criminal.

It’s probably wise to put in a disclaimer here: I am not advocating the use of hard drugs. Rather, I am advocating to follow the path of least harm. Just as the prohibition of alcohol created the mafia, bringing with it violence, more-dangerous products, and general suffering, the war on drugs, too, has done nothing to protect users or prevent crime; quite the opposite, in fact.

Eighty-five years ago the US government learned its lesson, and took the path of least harm. In doing so, they allowed users access to help and support and deprived criminals of their monopoly. While we’re starting to make progress, as countries like Canada, Luxembourg, as well as certain US states begin to decriminalise cannabis, there’s lots more work to be done before all the suffering brought on by the war on drugs can be ended.

Originally published at https://thebroadonline.com/eighty-five-years-since-prohibition-but-have-we-learnt-anything/

Province unveils its first economic outlook and fiscal review

THE SAULT STAR: The move for the extended hours is welcomed by the Consumer Choice Centre.

David Clement, North American Affairs manager for Consumer Choice Centres said “There is still a lot that needs to be done to modernize Ontario’s alcohol regulations. As we know from polling data, Ontario residents want increased access and for the province to move beyond its outdated model,” he said.

READ MORE

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario.

David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights.

David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Government to extend hours to buy booze

BAY TODAY: David Clement, Toronto-based North American Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center said: “Expanded retail hours for alcohol sales definitely benefits consumers. Expanding retail hours is a good first step, but there is still a lot that needs to be done to modernize Ontario’s alcohol regulations. As we know from polling data, Ontario residents want increased access and for the province to move beyond its outdated model.

“Now that hours are expanded, it is time to allow for private retail sale in Ontario convenience stores, and to end the LCBO’s monopoly on the sale of spirits,” said Clement.

READ MORE

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario.

David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights.

David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Minimum alcohol pricing doesn’t work

Criticising the Welsh government’s decision to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol, Bill Wirtz argues it is possible to curb consumer drinking through education rather than the heavy hand of the law.

There should, however, be no ambiguity about one point: the consumption of alcohol does bring health risks that all consumers should be aware of. Educational practices should promote and enable responsible drinkers without falling into blatant paternalism the likes of which will infantilise the Welsh consumer of their consumer choice.

In an effort to combat alcohol-related deaths, illnesses and injuries, the Welsh government has approved a law in June that will see the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol. Ahead of its introduction next year, this autumn the Welsh government will determine the minimum price companies will need to charge.

Wales is hardly re-inventing the wheel by introducing minimum-unit pricing. This year, the Scottish government introduced the measure after being held back by the Supreme Court for six years. The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg had ruled (in an earlier decision) that Scotland would only be allowed to set minimum pricing if it were able to prove that the measure would improve the condition for public health. However, the Supreme Court’s conclusion was that “Minimum pricing is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. It would stand to reason that the “proportionate means” part of the argument was actually backed up by science, but the opposite is the case: no evidence points the fact that minimum pricing would actually reduce the consumption of spirits.

Empirical evidence from other EU member states has shown that large-scale meddling in the food market often backfires. This has been shown in the example of Denmark, which introduced a special fat tax on certain goods, only to repeal the bill (with the same majority) 15 months later. What had happened? Not only was the tax an additional burden on people with low incomes, it also incentivised consumers to downgrade to cheaper products in the supermarket (while maintaining their consumptions of fats), leading to no impact on health and minor impact on consumption overall.

The evidence in favour of minimum alcohol pricing is simply not here. In a 2013 review of 19 studies, only two found that a significant and substantial reduction in drinking rates in response to alcohol price rises – “and even these two showed mixed results”. Earlier studies found responsiveness to prices to be close to zero.” This 1995 paper found that the heaviest drinkers’ responsiveness to price changes was statistically indistinguishable from zero, though it was based on very old data from the 1980s. This more recent one found that hazardous and harmful drinkers (people who consume more than 17.5 units per week) had a very low response to price changes.

Minimum alcohol pricing is inherently a regressive measure, as it hits low-income households the most. The measure is therefore not only failing to achieve its own objectives, it is also unfair to a large chunk of the population While minimum prices try to prevent consumers to pivot to lower-quality products, we need to realise that funds are fungible. Nothing prevents consumers to spend less money on healthy food or other essential items, in order to afford their consumption of booze.

An even more concerning issue could be a new rise in black market alcohol sales, which are known to bring considerable health hazards to the table. Given this regressive measure hits low incomes the hardest, it makes it likely that cities like Cardiff or Swansea will see a massive rise in illicit alcohol dealers adding to the already existing black market presence for drugs.

There should, however, be no ambiguity about one point: the consumption of alcohol does bring health risks that all consumers should be aware off. Educational practices should promote and enable responsible drinkers, without falling into blatant paternalism, the likes of which will infantilise the Welsh consumer and their consumer choice.

In the Committee Stage 1 Report in March of this year, the committee on health and social care & sports writes: “We note, and agree with stakeholders, that enabling the minimum unit price to be determined in regulations could ensure its impact and effectiveness can be reviewed and updated (if necessary) in a timely manner.” Let’s hope that lawmakers will stay true to this promise, and change the policy if the scientific evidence contradicts them.

Originally published at http://commentcentral.co.uk/minimum-alcohol-pricing-doesnt-work/

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium.

Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

‘No Additional Health Benefit’ Dail to vote on alcohol price hike’

SHEmazing: Bill Wirtz, Policy Analyst for the Consumer Choice Center has said that the act will have little impact on public health and an impact on the pockets of the most financially vulnerable.

‘The evidence in favour of minimum alcohol pricing is simply not here. In a 2013 review of 19 studies, only two found that found a significant and substantial reduction in drinking rates in response to alcohol price increases –and even these two showed mixed results.’

‘Earlier studies found responsiveness to prices to be close to zero,’ he said in a statement.

Wirtz also suggested that as well as there being potentially no health impact, the increased prices will disproportionately impact lower-income individuals.

‘Minimum alcohol pricing is inherently a regressive measure, as it hits low-income households the most,’ he said.

‘The measure is therefore not only failing to achieve its own objectives, it is also fundamentally unfair to a large segment of the population.’

‘While minimum prices tries to prevent consumers from pivoting to lower-quality products, we need to realise that funds are fungible.’

‘Nothing prevents consumers from spending less money on healthy food or other essential items, in order to afford their consumption of alcohol,’ says Wirtz.

READ MORE

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium.

Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Why Is the Nanny State so Popular?

FEE: Bans on plastic straws, soda taxes, bans on diesel cars, the crackdown on smoking, restrictions on alcohol consumption: the list of restrictions on people’s personal freedoms is steadily increasing. But why is the Nanny State so popular?

READ MORE

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium.

Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Is Moral Panic Justified? The Effect of Alcohol Privatization on Impaired Driving in Alberta

By Heather Bone, Research Fellow, Consumer Choice Center

Nearly every time the prospect of privatizing alcohol sales in Ontario is debated, there is a moral panic. If alcohol sales are privatized, the argument goes, alcohol will be more easily accessible, and there will be an increase in alcohol-related crime. In this research brief, I investigate the extent to which we should be concerned about an increase in social ills resulting from liquor store privatization by focusing on Alberta’s experience with impaired driving (due to limited data availability on other crimes like underage drinking). Thus, this paper answers the following question: Does the retail distribution system of alcohol affect impaired driving rates?

If you were to trust the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents the province’s 7,500 LCBO employees, you would assume that the relationship is positive – that is, that private liquor distribution systems bring about higher rates of impaired driving. A radio ad released by OPSEU argued: “In Alberta, you can buy alcohol at the grocery chains and in Alberta, it’s three-and-a-half times more likely that the person you pass coming out of the parking lot is driving drunk. Do you want to make that kind of a trade-off in Ontario? A little bit of convenience for a whole lot of pain and suffering.”[1] However, the data tells a different story.

Using data from Statistics Canada and the differences-in-differences econometric technique, I compared Alberta’s impaired driving rates in the four years after the privatization of their state-run liquor stores (in 1993) to their predicted rates in the absence of the policy change (using a computer-generated synthetic counterfactual composed of the impaired driving rates of Newfoundland and the Yukon – two jurisdictions which experienced no change in alcohol policy over the period studied). I found a statistically significant decline in impaired driving rates in response to the policy change. What OPSEU, in their analysis, conveniently omitted was that Alberta’s rates of impaired driving were much higher than Ontario’s prior to liquor store privatization.

My research suggests, if anything, that private retailers can be trusted more than government at keeping alcohol out of the hands of those who are most likely to abuse it. The key results are shown in Table 1 and visually depicted in Figure 1 below. The parameter of interest is the interaction between province and time (Alberta*After) which is negative and statistically significant, demonstrating that the policy change resulted in less impaired driving.

Table 1:

Impaired Vehicle Operation Offenses in Alberta per 100,000 people

Alberta -1.5

(37.2)

After -684.8***

(49.0)

Alberta*After -150.7*

(62.5)

Source: CANSIM Table 252-0013, Statistics Canada

***p <0.001, **p<0.01, *p<0.05

Figure 1: Impaired Vehicle Operation Offenses Per 100,000 People Over Time

Source: CANSIM Table 252-0013, Statistics Canada

The idea that Ontario, and other jurisdictions with state-owned liquor stores, need to choose between social ills and more consumer choice is a false dichotomy. While the costs of liberalizing alcohol sales are overstated, the benefits are clear. As a result of privatization, Alberta drastically expanded the range of products available to consumers from just 2,200 varieties of beer, wine, and spirits in 1993 to over 19,000 varieties today.[2] Ontario, and similar jurisdictions where the state is responsible for the sale of liquor, should, therefore, follow Alberta’s example and pursue privatization for the sake of consumer choice.

[1] OPSEU (2015), “OPSEU radio ads spark strong response from Alberta’s privatized alcohol sector”, https://opseu.org/news/opseu-radio-ads-spark-strong-response-albertas-privatized-alcohol-sector

[2] Milke, “Success of Alberta’s liquor store privatization a lesson for other provinces”, https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/success-albertas-liquor-store-privatization-lesson-other-provinces

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About Heather Bone

Heather Bone is pursuing a doctorate in economics at the University of Toronto.

Her research interests are broad, but generally relate to public policy. Right now, she is particularly focused on studying the economic functioning of cryptomarkets, including what they mean for consumer choice and how online drug markets are shaped by public policy decisions.

For several years, Heather has been a dedicated advocate for consumer choice. She performed research to help advocate free trade while working in the Office of the Chief Economist in the Canadian Department of Global Affairs. She then went on to work as a legislative assistant in Ontario’s provincial government before working for the Manning Centre in Calgary, Alberta where she studied the economics of Business Improvement Areas.

A list of Heather’s working papers and publications can be found on her website, heatherlynnbone.com.

Un jugement sur la bière qui ne fait pas de sens, déplore Gérard Comeau

ACADIE NOUVELLE: L’organisme Consumer Choice Center estime qu’un coup a été porté aux droits des consommateurs. Il souligne que dans sondage mené en juillet 2017 par l’institut Nanos 93% des Canadiens interrogés se disaient favorables à l’achat et au transport d’alcool entre les provinces. «L’idée d’avoir une nation et un marché est la fondation sur laquelle ce pays a été construit», argumente David Clement, directeur du Consumer Choice Center.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario.

David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights.

David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.