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Beer, wine and ready-to-drink cocktails coming to some Ontario corners stores by September: source

Some convenience stores in Ontario will be able to begin selling beer, wine, cider and ready-made cocktails as soon as September, an industry source told CBC Toronto on Friday.

The impending change is part of the Ontario government’s plan to significantly expand where alcohol can be sold, but would take effect about 16 months earlier than the timeline initially outlined by the province last December.

Similarly, grocery stores that already have licences for beer and wine will be allowed to sell ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages on Aug. 1, the same source said.

All other supermarkets and grocers in the the province will be able to sell beer, wine, cider and canned spirit drinks as of Oct. 31, according to the source.

A different industry source said there will be no limit on the size of beer packages that convenience can offer. In other words, licensed outlets would be able to stock 24 packs of beer if there is room available.

Meanwhile, the Beer Store will receive a “significant payment” from the province to help support it through the transition and maintain jobs.

Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy are scheduled to hold a news conference in Etobicoke at 10:30 a.m. ET. The pair will provide more information on the accelerated roll out of expanded alcohol sales in the province, a government source said.

Details of the province’s plan to bring alcohol sales to corner stores earlier were first reported by CityNews on Thursday.

More to come.

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