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Consultation coming on private liquor stores

2014-08-13 17:00:03


Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says public feedback suggests that people support a plan not to build any more provincially owned liquor stores, but are cautious about what comes next.

Wall says that's the message from Saskatchewan Party MLAs at a caucus meeting taking place at Waskesiu Lake, north of Prince Albert.

"I think there's a consensus that people like what we've done so far, which is to say that there won't be any new (public) liquor stores. Those will now be private stores,'' Wall said Wednesday.

"And whether or not we go beyond that, you know I think MLAs said, let's take the next step and do a more formal consultation with Saskatchewan people and ask them what they would like to do because you know I think people do like some increased options there. But how far we go should be up to Saskatchewan people.''

The premier mused in the spring about privatizing provincially owned liquor stores and asked politicians to talk to people about the idea this summer.

A paper is expected to be released this fall on what the government has heard about possible options, although it has not yet been determined how people will submit their opinions on what Wall calls "the right mix.''

The discussion comes after the government announced last year that it was adding two private liquor stores in Regina and two in Saskatoon.

Opposition NDP Leader Cam Broten has said there's already a hybrid retail liquor system in Saskatchewan that includes public liquor stores, off-sales and rural franchises. He has said there's no need to slap a "For Sale'' sign on provincial stores to improve service.


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