Send a message to your MLA to stop liquor privatization

The Sask government has finished its two-week committee consultation. That means the only way to have your voice heard is to contact your MLA before they vote on Bill 1.

Join people like you all around Saskatchewan in fighting back against the Sask government privatization scheme — let’s keep liquor profits public and working for families and communities. Send a message by using our email tool below.


Help keep liquor profits public and working for Saskatchewan!

You can stand up for families and communities by sending an email to your MLA today. And we can help — in the form below:

  1. Select your MLA.
  2. Fill in your information and click Submit.
  3. An email will be generated in your email program with the letter below.
  4. Read. Edit as you see fit. Hit Send.

Note: By clicking Submit on this page, your concern will also be registered in our petition as defined by the letter content below.

To my MLA,

As a concerned constituent of your riding, I am writing to urge you to vote against Bill 1 (The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Amendment Act), which would pave the way for the privatization of Saskatchewan’s public liquor stores.

Since the proposal to privatize liquor was first raised, the government has not published an economic impact analysis that examines what the proposed changes might mean for public revenues. Despite claims that the plan will be revenue-neutral, the government has yet to provide evidence on this claim.

This issue warrants further study prior to any steps being taken on privatizing liquor in Saskatchewan. As Premier Wall has noted when discussing the prospect of a national carbon tax, economic assessments should be mandatory for initiatives that could impact jobs, consumers and businesses.

So far, however, the only detailed economic analysis of the liquor privatization plan is one conducted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – and that study finds that privatization will mean a serious loss of public revenues. For government to forge ahead with privatization regardless, without conducting an economic study of its own, is reckless and runs contrary to the Premier’s own stance on such issues.

An economic impact analysis should also consider the effects that privatization might have on communities due to the loss of living-wage work. In communities of less than 5,000 people (which is 33 of the 39 communities facing privatization), new private retailers will be allowed to sell liquor from an existing business, which can be done by the staff they already have.

Even where jobs are created by private retailers, they are likely to be low-wage work with poor – if any – benefits. This will not benefit Saskatchewan workers, or the province’s income tax revenue.

The effect of privatization on consumers and business owners has also not been properly examined. While government has promised greater product selection and “more competitive pricing,” previous privatizations of Saskatchewan liquor stores have had the effect of reducing selection. It is also questionable whether profit-driven private retailers – many of whom will be operating in communities with minimal competition – will set prices lower than what public stores currently offer.

Liquor privatization appears set to negatively affect many local businesses. In smaller communities, government will give a huge advantage to existing retail businesses that are awarded the right to sell liquor, with severe consequences for competing businesses.

By removing the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority from The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act, Bill 1 will make all of Saskatchewan’s public liquor stores vulnerable to immediate privatization. Until the effects of liquor privatization have been properly studied and the results made public, I urge you not to pass this legislation. The potential consequences for Saskatchewan people and businesses are too great for these changes to be pushed through without careful consideration.


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Why we need action now

Public liquor sales return huge profits to Saskatchewan people — money that can be spent on making life better for families and communities. Public liquor revenues fund schools, hospitals, long-term care homes, provincial parks, highways, and much more.

But the provincial government is putting all those benefits at risk.

Government has begun the process to privatize 40 public liquor stores, and green-lit 12 new private stores.

Every public liquor store in the province earns a profit for Saskatchewan people. We can’t afford to sell off the public assets that are making us money.

At a time when Saskatchewan people are suffering the effects of government cutbacks in health, education, and other areas — it just doesn’t make sense to give away profits from public liquor sales.

Join us in saying NO to liquor store privatization by sending a message via this form.

Let’s be clear: Public liquor sales & profits support communities, good jobs and public services.