The provincial government is getting out of the liquor vending business. So says Premier Scott Moe by way of last Wednesday’s Throne Speech. The remaining 34 operating liquor stores will be phased out in a plan to be determined in the near future. That planning will likely look at labour force transition as remaining workers face layoffs.
“There’s opportunities out there, obviously,” said Minister Responsible for the SLGA, Lori Carr. “The new licences are going to be sold; there’ll be job opportunities there. And the general economy in Saskatchewan right now is very attractive for people looking for employment.”
Premier Scott Moe noted that liquor sales is not considered a core business in the evolution of government participation. Moe likened the move to the government’s distance from cannabis retailing.
Carr stated that any costs incurred in dissolving the retail system should be more than offset by money recovered from building sales and fees for new permits issued.
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour responded by mobilizing a protest outside the Legislature. The Federation cautioned that elimination of jobs in a time of rampant inflation is a recipe for disaster when it comes to workers’ wellbeing.