Protest over privatization of the LCBO begins

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LCBO Protest

Members of OPSEU, local citizens and the We-Own-it Campaign are gathering in front of the LCBO on Great Northern Road to protest what they call the “back-door” privatization of the LCBO.

“Privatization hurts all of us. How are we going to replace $2-Billion in revenue?” said Amy Medaglia with OPSEUs local 602.

That’s the amount of money that the LCBO provides back to the province for various social services like hospitals.

LCBO ProtestJoe Krmpotich, the NDP candidate for the next provincial by-election for Sault Ste. Marie was the only party-hopeful to show up out of any of the political parties.

“I support them 100 per cent. This is about good paying jobs in our community and this is about good paying jobs for our children and our grandchildren and that they remain here… remain full-time and don’t go down to part time with no benefits and pension contributions for our constituents,” said Krmpotich.

Felicia Fahey, an executive board member with OPSEU local 681 and a bargaining-unit d-store manager with the LCBO came from Sudbury to be here.

“We’re here to stress the vital importance of keeping the LCBO in public hands. We are under the impression that the government is back-door privatizing us. We’re one of the biggest income sources in the province. Why would you fix something that isn’t broken.”

She brought up the point that we can’t mandate social responsibility in a store the size of Walmart, that sells alcohol. Especially with self-checkouts.

She also said “anyone dealing with alcohol issues is not going to be able to get away from it” if every grocery store has the ability to sell alcohol.

She also talked about the job losses in grocery stores for young people that are not old enough to sell alcohol.

Shelley LeBoeuf was also there with the We-Own-it Campaign. They are trying to remove privatization from every political party’s platform by 2018. They are going into the community to show what’s privatized and what’s at risk and making that information available.

“A lot of people don’t realize that our hospital’s parking lot revenue goes to a private company.”

She can be contacted at weownit.ssm@gmail.com if anyone is interested in more information on privatization.

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