Are the LCBO's booze-hoarding days numbered?
Oh look, we’re excited about a political issue in Canada again. No, it’s not another mayor getting fired or stepping down from their position after taking a bunch of mob money, this time it comes down to the restrictions placed against sweet, sweet booze in Ontario. For far too long, Ontario has restricted the sale of alcohol to a few, sparsely located merchants of government-regulated intoxication called the LCBO, or the Beer Store, or whatever, that part isn’t important. If you’re from Ontario, you already know where we’ve hidden all of our alcohol, and if you’re not from Ontario, you probably don’t really care about all of this!
The point is, now, it appears that a Conservative named Tim Hudak has emerged from the wreckage surrounding Ontario’s former (but still sitting in office) premier Dalton McGuinty, another democratically-elected Canadian politician who has left their post. With Dalton McGuinty out of the picture, Tim Hudak wants to be the next person to run the province. Earlier today, he came out and said that if he was to be elected premier, he would get the booze flowing in corner stores all around Ontario. O rly?
Not only would this eliminate the need for one of our favourite websites ever, The Beer Hunter, that uses a Google Map API to show Ontarians where they can find booze at whatever hour they’re viewing the page, this would surely activate a dormant and hungover voting population to check off a little box beside Tim Hudak’s name. Err, but wait, the Conservatives are bad, right? Doesn’t this seem like a bit of flirtatious trickery to get us, the booze-loving, downtown dwelling, fun-time having youth to vote the Tories into office?
Last time the Conservatives were around, they put a guy named Mike Harris in charge, who was at the reigns when a Native protestor (who did not have a gun on him) named Dudley George was shot and killed in a protest. The protest all came about because of a patch of land called “Ipperwash Park,” the site of a Native burial ground that Canada destroyed after stealing (or, wait, sorry, “expropriated”) the land to build a military camp. The Natives were occupying the park. According to a former Attorney General testifying at a hearing, Mike Harris yelled: “I want the fucking Indians out of the park," while he was at a “high-level meeting” to discuss the protest, just before the shooting took place. It's a classic, feel-good, Conservative story.
Mike Harris is also the guy who fired a whole bunch of nurses and compared the lay-offs to workers in a hula-hoop factory being canned, after the fad died and people stopped buying hula-hoops. Mike Harris, despite that confounding comparison, ran on a platform of “common sense.” Now he’s starting an at-home nursing business, for some reason.
Tim Hudak staring lovingly at Mike Harris.
That’s the past, though. Have the Conservatives changed? Is this booze offering a whiskey soaked olive branch for those of us who think it’s really dumb that you can’t buy alcohol, anywhere, in Canada’s largest city on a Sunday after 6:00 PM? Well, probably not. Besides this pretty great plan to liberate alcohol in Ontario, an issue that should have been politicized long ago by someone on the left, Tim doesn’t have a great record for progressive thinking otherwise.
His Romney-esque footwork regarding his wavering stance on abortion, for one, is alarming. He also wanted to roll out roaming “gangs” of prisoners to clean up our streets, because he was apparently bummed out about prisoners taking “yoga classes,” in between filing shivs out of plastic butter knives and doing push-ups with their knuckles on cold cement. Evidently, he has not seen the awesome street-cleaning golf carts with elephant trunk vacuum hoses that we’ve got in Toronto. Just build more of those, Tim.
Ultimately though, Dalton McGuinty has been the premier for nine years and we still can’t buy a magnum of wine, along with our peanut butter cups and porn magazines, at the convenience store. Sure, the Conservatives will probably bring a lot of awful crap into the province if Ontario decides to elect them, but will the easy access to booze help quell the drama, caused by the potential of a “new” debate on abortion? What about roving gangs of criminals staring you down while you drive along the 404? The answer? We’re leaning towards: maybe.
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