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Progressive Conservatives would allow beer, wine to be sold in corner stores

Craft beer on store shelves at the Loblaws on Leslie Street near Eastern Avenue on Dec. 15, 2015. CITYNEWS/George Joseph

Doug Ford says if elected premier he would allow beer, wine, cider and coolers to be sold in corner stores.

In the announcement, which he made a day before a long weekend, the Progressive Conservative leader says Ontario is mature enough for this change.

The Liberal government expanded alcohol sales in recent years, with more than 200 grocery stores authorized to sell beer and cider, and another 70 allowed to sell wine.

Under their plan, up to 450 grocery stores will sell beer and cider, including 300 also selling wine, but the Liberals haven’t supported expanding sales to other retail outlets.

Ford says he would expand sales to corner stores and box stores.

He says he would implement the policy as soon as possible, allowing any of those outlets to sell the beverages as long as they meet requirements from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.