On March 5 the OCSA held our 16th annual dinner gala at the Congress Centre immediately following the very successful day first day of the Convenience U show. The networking hour was sponsored by our friends at the Great Canadian Meat company while the OCSA dinner was sponsored by Juul Labs.
Over 225 retailers and suppliers attended the dinner with a strong showing of independents from all over the country and we were honoured to be addressed by MPP Stan Cho of Willowdale whose parents were immigrants to Canada and opened their own convenience store. Stan expressed is deep appreciation to the country as well as all hard working convenience stores in Ontario. He is a strong supporter of beer and wine being allowed for sale in our channel and is a close friend of both the OKBA and OCSA.
The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalfy (President of Treasury Board) was our key note speaker on behalf of the Ford administration where he discussed the reduction of red tape, the commitment to helping small business by the government and also the desire to see beer and wine roll out to our channel later this year. We are very fortunate as an organization to have built a strong relationship with the Ford government and have garnered the respect of the many MPPs in Ontario leading up to the 2018 election and appreciate the open dialogue on any and all issues or opportunities affecting the business.
This was a great evening for the convenience store channel and we appreciate the support of the attendees who want a better future for the channel by attending the Convenience U show and OCSA events.
The results of our strong organization have proven to pay off with the most recent announcement of beer and wine coming to the channel and can be attributed to the years of planning and preparing for this reality.
Start planning ahead for next year for our annual dinner (hopefully serving craft beer to all) and learning workshops at the Convenience U show.