In an open letter to the Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance of Ontario, the Commissioner of Competition, Matthew Boswell, said that Ontario’s recent review of the province’s liquor policy provides an opportunity to increase competition in an important sector.
Current liquor policy in Ontario limits the number of retailers, and makes price competition more difficult, while also hampering some producers from breaking into new markets.
The Competition Bureau supports recommendations, made by a special advisor appointed by the government of Ontario, that could provide retailers equal opportunity to sell their products, encourage price competition, and support proper wholesale pricing. The Ontario special advisor outlined his recommendations in the report, “The Case for Change: Increasing Choice and Expanding Opportunity in Ontario’s Alcohol Sector.”
Similar to what the Commissioner recommended on improving liquor policy in B.C., a proper wholesale pricing system for Ontario bars and restaurants could lead to more product choice, lower prices, and new and innovative products for consumers.
While acknowledging the province’s need to balance policy concerns in areas such as public health and safety with competition, the Commissioner advocates for a less restrictive system that offers Ontarians greater choice.