Today, the Saskatchewan government announced during the throne speech that they will be exiting the retail market to make more room independent liquor retailers.
According to Scott Moe, the government does not deem the retail side of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority as a core business and it will remain in wholesale.
“We’ve had private liquor stores across the province for years, we had all our cannabis stores private here and they do quite well. We want to focus our efforts as a government on what people view as a core business.”
He explained that core businesses to the government are often considered those that offer health care services, assist in building new health care facilities, and those in the education and highway sectors.
The premier said there will be processes to help SLGA employees transition to new employment roles.
“They would have opportunities to bid if they want move into an ownership position in those stores and ultimately take employment opportunities with whoever would be running the store after, I’m certain.”
Nathaniel Teed, SGLA critic is concerned about the government’s plan to ensure that SGLA employees are able to find work.
“We are living through a generational affordability crisis right now. People are struggling to find good paying jobs and I heard that on the doorstop in the byelection in Meewasin,” said Teed.
Teed estimates that the closure of the remaining SLGA stores will remove around 350 jobs that can provide livable wages.
“Too many people in this province are unable to pay their bills,” said Saskatchewan NDP Leader Carla Beck.
Beck explained that Saskatchewanians have told her their main concern with the province right now is affordability.
The details of the SGLA changes and employee procedures will be a discussion later this season.
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