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The LCBO would like you to pick up your booze in Quebec, please.

To start off the Canada Day weekend (which was actually a good weekend, really), every LCBO store in the province of Ontario shut its doors due to strike action, indicating that they’d prefer your booze money goes out of province or to smaller businesses rather than to the liquor control board. Which, I mean, Quebec is a20 minute drive from where I’m currently staying so… okay.

More than 9,000 Ontario liquor store employees are on strike after bargaining talks broke down between their union and the LCBO.

Leaders of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents the workers, blamed the strike on Premier Doug Ford. The strike deadline set by the union was 12:01 a.m. on Friday.

“LCBO workers are ready to make history,” Colleen MacLeod, chair of OPSEU’s liquor board employees division bargaining team, told reporters at a news conference on Thursday evening. “Tonight, Ford’s dry summer begins.”

OPSEU president J.P. Hornick said the workers want wage increases, more full-time jobs and language in their collective agreement that would protect existing jobs and the future of the LCBO. According to the union, part-time positions make up 70 per cent of the LCBO workforce.

Asked how long the strike could last, Hornick said: “We have a very healthy strike fund… and we can weather a strike as long as necessary.”

I get it that the staff there wants higher wages. And yeah, living in Ontario is fucking expensive these days. But somehow, I don’t think suggesting we buy our booze out of province is going to accomplish that. Neither is blaming Ford, who gets the blame for everything from the health care system having been broken for as long as I can remember to the housing crisis. And okay, Doug Ford’s a screwup. But if he didn’t care about the LCBO workers before they went on strike, I doubt he’ll care much about them after he legislates them back to work. In the meantime, I wonder if Quebec sells BC wine…

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