Privatizing liquor stores comes with a price

Darryl Mills
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Premier Wall wants Saskatchewan people to share their views on whether it is a good idea to privatize our province’s public liquor stores.  Here is something to keep in mind as we consider what selling off liquor stores will mean for Saskatchewan citizens.

The recent floods will cost Saskatchewan somewhere in the neighbourhood of $150 million.  The good news is that we have an increase in revenues this year to help us pay for those unanticipated expenses. 

According to Finance Minister Ken Krawetz’s recent quarterly report, we have more money than projected from non-renewable resources, as well as $81 million more from revenues generated by government business enterprises, like our public liquor stores.

Profits from public liquor stores flow back to the people of Saskatchewan.  Last year liquor sales generated $252.3 million for our province.  That revenue helps us cover the costs of natural disasters.  It also helps us build and maintain public infrastructure, and support valuable public services, like schools, provincial parks, hospitals, and long term care homes.

Selling off public liquor stores – as Premier Wall has suggested – means that profit from liquor sales will go into the hands of a few private companies, and Saskatchewan people will lose a reliable source of revenue that helps families and communities in good times and, most importantly, in times of need.

Donna Christianson

Chair SGEU SLGA Negotiating Committee

 

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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