Saskatchewan reviewing the future of its liquor stores, possible Alberta-style privatization

Saskatchewan is reviewing the future of its liquor stores, with a possible Alberta-style privatization as one of the five options.

The five options that the government are considering include:

  • The government continuing to own dozens of liquor stores.
  • Expanding the number of private retail stores.
  • An Alberta-style privatization of all liquor stores.
  • A slow transition to an all-private liquor store system.
  • Expanding the number of government-owned stores.

According to Don McMorrris, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority:

“There are a lot of opinions about how we should sell liquor,”

“This consultation process will let us hear directly from the public and key stakeholders about what they would like to see when it comes to liquor retailing in Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan government will be looking to hear feedback from consumers until Jan. 30, 2015.

liquor store

The future of Saskatchewan’s liquor stores is on the table. 

The government currently owns 75 liquor stores in the province, in addition to hundreds of off-sale outlets.

Over the past few years there have been a small number of private liquor stores approved. The government has said that all new liquor stores in Saskatchewan will be privately owned.

Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan since November 21, 2007, earlier this year said that he thinks that by privatizing liquor stores consumers will have more choice and as a result the province would benefit from increased sales.

However, there is a law that prevents the privatization of Crown assets and the government would only consider selling off its stores if there is a strong public mandate.