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Keeping pot sales private the right choice

Dear Editor,

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, the OPSEU union leader for the LCBO  workers, has come out again slamming the decision to sell pot in the free market system instead of creating another government monopoly like the LCBO as the only ones allowed to sell this product in the province.

He gives the same old tired arguments, such as the decision made by the Ford government will deprive Ontario residents of much needed tax revenue.

Not true. The tax collected at the source of sale will still be forwarded to the government coffers, just like the tax on alcohol is now by the LCBO.

He also rants about the LCBO is the only safe, trusted choice to sell this product. Again, not true.

I have witnessed many times the video taken by a 14-year-old boy with a hidden camera on his person, and wearing a burka, enter three different LCBO outlets, purchase a bottle of hard liquor, and leave without any problem, including asking for any ID, or to remove the burka to complete the sale.

As far as I know, no LCBO government employees were chastised at all for this breach of security. Insiders also claim that there is  blatant theft of liquor in many LCBO outlets that go unpunished, as they claim there is no onsite security to prevent these thieves from leaving the property in question, and many employees rightly do not feel they should put themselves in potential danger when accosting these thieves.

Any legal outlet selling tobacco in this province, is always, and rightly so, under constant surveillance by inspectors checking up on them, to make sure they do not sell to minors.

If they do, and are caught, they face severe penalties, plus the loss of income from future sales.

They too, forward any and all sales tax to the provincial government from the sales of these cigarettes, just like the LCBO does with tax collected at source.

Who is checking up on the LCBO, like they are watching the independent operators, to make sure they are working within the confines of the law?

Any independent entrepreneur who desires to sell weed in this province, will no doubt have stringent security measures in place to prevent theft, and selling to minors, as they will be watched closely, unlike the LCBO.

We do not need another government run monopoly. It is just another source of waste and mismanagement.

If there was a complete audit done of the LCBO’s books, it probably would find, without counting the tax revenue, which as I said, would be forwarded to the government anyway, no matter who made the sale, that it is a money losing business, just backed up by never ending taxpayer funding.

They have a monopoly, and still cannot run a business properly, due to a lackadaisical approach.

Expensive, glossy brochures stuffed inside our newspapers advertising liquor that nobody else is allowed to sell legally here. Who are they competing against?

If it was run like the private sector would have to run it, there would be many more millions, maybe billions, to turn back to the government to use for our taxpayer needs in this province, in addition to all the sales tax revenue, instead of wasted opportunities.

No more monopolies please. 

Russ Horner