Substantial Losses: Concern with Privatization of NSLC

Chronicle Herald

Editor’s Desk

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Re:  Baillie boosts booze in Nova Scotia grocery, corner stores

In Jamie Baillie’s recent article he speaks in favour of looking at “how people buy booze”, and pursuing some sort of a privatized response to what is currently distribution through our crown corporation, - The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission. His stance is articulated despite consistent evidence showing that privatization leads to increased consumption of alcohol by youth and adults, leading to increased alcohol-related trauma and deaths, increased impacts on health and overall society with the resultant increased overall costs to taxpayers. This has been seen in other jurisdictions where privatization has been pursued, within our own country and beyond our borders.

To really know the “alcohol-as-revenue-generator” equation you must know it also as an “expense generator”.  Every dollar you make selling alcohol is going to create more cost than that same dollar, to deal with the negative effects of its consumption.  Simply by scanning the newspaper you can see ample evidence of the costs we experience now.

If alcohol sales become privatized, for-profit business makes all the revenue and taxpayers are responsible for covering all the expenses.   With private industry as the “driver” of alcohol sales, profit becomes king and the goal is simple, - to increase our consumption.  All  the subsequent increased costs in lives lost, injuries sustained, as well as the broad range of economic costs system-wide simply become “collateral damage” within the business realm and  it is left to the taxpayers to continue paying for it.  The “loss” to taxpayers will be substantial.


Executive Director