NEW LAW COULD FIZZ BEER GUY’S BIZ

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By Amanda-Marie Quintino

Ryerson’s own Beer Guy said his business will suffer if the government goes ahead with plans to overhaul Ontario’s liquor laws. If passed, the legislation could let corner stores sell alcohol-to the dismay of Chad Lavallee, a Ryerson grad who founded TheBeerGuy.ca. Lavallee’s online business offers the same brands of booze sold at The Beer Store.

With only a click customers can receive their shipment one hour after placing their order.

But “my business will falter if alcohol is available in convenience stores,” Lavallee wrote in an e-mail. “If alcohol was available in every corner store, what would be the need for students to go online and order, besides already being at the party and not wanting to leave?”

On Jan. 11, Finance Minister Greg Sorbara announced Ontario would be appointing a panel to review the sale and distribution of alcohol in the province.

This major overhaul of liquor laws could include the sale of beer and wine in corner stores. “We won’t speculate anything until the panel comes back,” said Sean Hamilton, spokesman for the minister’s office, adding “Ontarians don’t want minors to have access to alcohol, so social responsibility is our first principle.”

But Lavallee isn’t so sure the government’s plans would safeguard legal consumption. “There is no guarantee people will be checking ID to prevent underage drinking,” he said.

Although Lavallee recognizes he will need to change his business plan if the laws were to change, he doesn’t plan on lowering his prices to keep his business afloat.

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