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Union president fires back after Doug Ford accuses them of ‘lying’ to members

The head of a union representing LCBO workers is firing back at Doug Ford after the premier accused them of ‘lying’ about his government’s intention to privatize the Crown corporation.

Ford told reporters on Wednesday that OPSEU President JP Hornick was “misleading” and effectively “lying” to LCBO workers by organizing a province-wide protest the previous day to stop “the sell-off of the LCBO.”

Ford then went on to say that his government would “never, ever sell the LCBO” and said that he was “calling out” Hornick for suggesting otherwise.

But in a statement issued on Thursday, Hornick took issue with Ford’s interpretation of their union’s position and accused the premier of “lying to Ontario about LCBO privatization.”

“Tuesday’s LCBO Day of Action was organized by LCBO workers who are first-hand witnesses to the sell-off of the LCBO, piece by piece, every day,” they said. “LCBO members know exactly how the Ford government is selling off the work of the LCBO to private warehouses, offsite companies, and shifting alcohol sales from the LCBO to private retailers. That’s why 7,000 LCBO workers signed the petition that we delivered to Doug Ford.”

Ford announced late last year that up to 8,500 new stores will be allowed to sell alcohol by 2026, including convenience and big box stores.

But on Wednesday he suggested that there will always be a place for the LCBO, including as the “exclusive wholesaler” of spirits in the province.

In the release issued on Thursday, Hornick offered several examples of ways in which the Ford government “continues to privatize the LCBO,” including the use of third-party warehouses and the contracting out of the LCBO’s specialty order service. They also said that online order fulfillment, which used to be performed by LCBO employees, is now contracted out to a third-party.

“It’s pretty clear that Doug Ford can’t be trusted to tell the truth about LCBO privatization,” Hornick said.

The Ford government has not previously hinted at selling the LCBO and has said that its changes to alcohol sales in the province are intended to give consumers more choice.