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BRAUN: Beer and wine in subway newsstand shops?

Turns out the posters are from Choice and Fairness, a collective of convenience and other stores, craft beer and wine retailers and consumers, all working together (and in tandem with the Ontario government) to expand sales of beer, wine and cider. The Retail Council of Canada, Convenience Industry Council of Canada, Ontario Convenience Stores Association and consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre are among those involved.

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Duas grandes vitórias para a escolha do consumidor e política de álcool modernizada

Os meses quentes estão trazendo ótimas notícias quando se trata de aumentar a escolha do consumidor e modernizar a política de álcool na América do Norte.

ONTÁRIO

A primeira história de sucesso vem da província canadense de Ontário, onde o Premier Doug Ford anunciou a fim do contrato de exclusividade da província com a The Beer Store, o monopólio da cerveja.

Ao anunciar a política, o ministro das Finanças de Ontário, Victor Fedeli, citou as palavras do gerente de assuntos norte-americanos do Centro de Escolha do Consumidor David Clemente, que tem contribuído para o debate para abrir as vendas de cerveja em toda a província.

Este movimento positivo ocorre no mesmo dia em que o governo anunciou que seria expansão das vendas de álcool nas lojas LCBO em toda a província, após o que Clement diz que “os consumidores em toda a província gostariam de ter mais acesso a bebidas alcoólicas durante os meses de verão.

O Centro de Escolha do Consumidor desempenhou um papel fundamental ao moldar o debate político em favor da política modernizada do álcool e da escolha do consumidor, e continuará a fazê-lo em todo o país.

“O anúncio do álcool de hoje é um passo na direção certa”, disse David Clement. “A mudança ajuda as regiões carentes, ao mesmo tempo em que maximiza a quantidade de mercearias permitidas pelo Master Framework Agreement (MFA). É positivo ver essas mudanças enquanto a província passa pelo processo de sucatear o MFA e permitir a venda de álcool em lojas de conveniência.”

“Esperamos que o anúncio possa aumentar o acesso durante os meses de verão, o que definitivamente seria apreciado pelos consumidores em toda a província”. disse Clemente.

CAROLINA DO NORTE

Seguindo as vibrações positivas do Great White North, o estado da Carolina do Norte também teve um grande passe de modernização da política de álcool.

Na última quinta-feira, o governador Roy Cooper assinou o projeto de lei 363 da Câmara, a Lei de Modernização e Distribuição de Cerveja Artesanal. A lei permitirá que cervejeiros artesanais autodistribuir mais de duas vezes era permitido anteriormente sem um atacadista.

Essa medida permitirá que as cervejarias se expandam e enviem mais produtos para todo o estado, dando aos consumidores da Carolina do Norte maior acesso às suas cervejas artesanais favoritas.

Escrevi sobre este tópico para o Charlotte Observer (aqui e aqui) e foi entrevistado sobre isso na rádio da Show de Joe Catenacci e a Show de Chad Adams.

Assim como acima, ainda há muito que precisa ser feito para ter uma política de álcool verdadeiramente moderna no estado de Tar Heel. Acabar com o monopólio do estado das lojas ABC (que vendem bebidas alcoólicas) seria primordial, e o próximo seria permitir que as destilarias oferecessem e vendessem seus produtos no local e para entrega.

Independentemente disso, essas são duas grandes vitórias para a escolha do consumidor e a política de álcool modernizada, dando aos consumidores mais voz, mais opções e melhores opções!

Ontario reveals housing supply action plan

With a focus on making it easier to build (and afford) a wider variety of housing, the action plan is being called a win for consumer choice. Heather Bone, a Toronto-based Research Fellow for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) and Economics Ph.D. Student at the University of Toronto, said: “It is good to see the province is doing its part to reduce the red tape that makes it so difficult for developers to build.”

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Não culpe Doug Ford pelos custos de quebrar contratos injustos de varejo de cerveja

Opinion: We should blame politicians who set up and maintained a system that has both inconvenienced and overcharged consumers for nearly a century.

A lot has changed in the last 92 years, but Ontario’s alcohol policy is one thing that has remained largely the same. Following the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1927, the province granted Brewers Warehousing Co. (later Brewers Retail/The Beer Store) a monopoly over beer sales, to appease prohibitionists. Now Prohibition’s legacy lives on through The Beer Store’s near monopoly on beer sales today, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford is facing both political heat and legal threats by trying to challenge it.

If the Ford government follows its plan, beer and wine will be available in corner and big box stores by Christmas. Evidence suggests this policy will enhance consumer choice by expanding variety, increasing convenience, and lowering prices. Anindya Sen, an economist at the University of Waterloo, estimated that roughly $700 million in annual revenue earned by The Beer Store is incremental profit earned because of its monopoly status and ability to charge higher prices. Additionally, The Beer Store’s roots in Prohibition demonstrate that lack of access is a feature, not a bug, of the current retail system. This inconvenience may be why 54 per cent of Ontarians support allowing more privately owned stores to sell alcohol.

Modernizing alcohol sales is good public policy. While the LCBO’s earnings serve as a cash cow for the province, The Beer Store’s profits primarily go into the hands of large multinational brewers — Anheuser Busch-InBev, through its Labatt subsidiary; Colorado-based Molson-Coors; and Japan’s Sapporo, through its Sleeman subsidiary. Additionally, retail monopolies do little to promote social responsibility. As one of the authors’ research has shown, privatization of alcohol sales in Alberta was associated with a lower rate of impaired driving.

The precedent for this change exists, as convenience stores already sell lottery tickets and cigarettes, and face hefty penalties for selling to minors. Furthermore, alcohol liberalization isn’t only good for consumers, it’s good for the economy. By studying similar reforms in British Columbia, a new report from the Retail Council of Canada predicts that Ford’s proposed reforms would result in 9,100 new jobs and a $3.5-billion dollar increase in GDP.

We should not blame the Ford government for pursuing alcohol modernization

However, pursuing this change has had its own set of challenges. The Beer Store has threatened legal action against the province if it moves forward with its plan, citing its agreement with the previous Liberal government that limits the number and type of beer-retailing outlets in Ontario until 2025. Beer-industry insiders claim a breach of contract could cost Ontario up to $1 billion. While there are reasons to doubt this figure, including that estimates have rapidly grown from a previous estimate of $100 million in the short time since the story about the Ontario government’s plans broke, it has proven to be politically challenging for the Ford government. Critics have claimed that moving forward would be irresponsible due to the financial risk, with Ford being directly responsible for the potential losses.

There are two important lessons to take from these exorbitant claims. The first is that the figures that opponents of the plan are claiming are entirely unsubstantiated. They are simply the figures they claim. In order for them to have any legal weight whatsoever, they would have to be proven in court, which would require The Beer Store to open its books. Given the grandiose figures being tossed around, it is entirely possible that The Beer Store is bluffing in an attempt to maintain its privileged treatment. The second important lesson here is the price of cronyism overall. The government over-regulating and picking winners and losers in the market hurts consumers twice over. First through inflated prices and poor customer service, and again as taxpayers via legal challenges. Setting a precedent that the Ford government stands with consumers over special interests would clearly show that it stands for the people.

When it comes to placing blame, there is a lot to go around. We should blame the politicians who set up and maintained a retail system that has both inconvenienced and overcharged Ontario consumers for nearly a century. We should blame the previous government for attempting to tie the hands of subsequent leaders by signing the latest contract with The Beer Store. However, regardless of the outcome of the legal challenge, we should not blame the Ford government for pursuing alcohol modernization. While this move may be costly, it is necessary to right past wrongs and end Ontario’s Prohibition-era alcohol framework. Ford has lots to answer for, but not this.

Heather Bone is a research fellow at the Consumer Choice Center and an economics PhD student at the University of Toronto. David Clement is the North American affairs manager of the Consumer Choice Center.

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Atualização mensal: outubro de 2018

CAMPANHA DO MERCADO ÚNICO DIGITAL No dia 10 de outubro, Luca Bertoletti e Bill Wirtz do CCC entregaram o documento de pesquisa do Mercado Único Digital do Centro de Escolha do Consumidor ao Chefe de Comércio Eletrônico da Comissão Europeia. TESTEMUNHO SOBRE AS REGRAS DE CANNABIS DE ONTARIO Em 12 de outubro, David Clement do CCC testemunhou no Comitê Permanente de Política Social de Ontário para fornecer comentários sobre o Projeto de Lei 36, os regulamentos de cannabis da província. CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING […]

O pânico moral é justificado? O efeito da privatização do álcool na direção prejudicada em Alberta

Por Heather Bone, Pesquisadora, Centro de Escolha do Consumidor Quase toda vez que a perspectiva de privatizar as vendas de álcool em Ontário é debatida, há um pânico moral. Se as vendas de álcool forem privatizadas, continua o argumento, o álcool será mais facilmente acessível e haverá um aumento de crimes relacionados ao álcool. Neste resumo de pesquisa, eu investigo […]

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