14_OCSA Queen's Park Lobby Day 2015

The third annual OCSA Queen’s Park Day was once again a great success, from the initial briefings by Sussex and Summa to the Question Period, MPP meetings and OCSA reception.

I strongly believe our relationship at Queen’s Park with key decision makers – including 28 Members of Provincial Parliament – is strengthening both on an individual basis and as an industry.

The OCSA profile continues to broaden thanks to the support and turnout of board members and retailers that carry with them the concerns and messages of our industry.

The three objectives of the day were age verification, demonstrating that convenience stores want to lead the way in the sale of age-restricted products and our ability to educate and train the entire Industry. OCSA members will be happy to hear that Toronto MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins confirmed his support of this initiative.

Contraband tobacco was interesting as all three parties were quite engaged in the discussions with both the NDP (MPP France Gelinas) and PC party (MPP Todd Smith) engaged to work with us on private members bills to address the contraband issue (this was a big change from last year).

06_OCSA Queen's Park Lobby Day 2015We also had very good dialogue around the ORPP while tabling the OCSA suggestions and options to make this a more palatable initiative (should the government proceed after the Federal Election).

And finally we were able to express our ongoing disappointment with being eliminated from the consultation on beer expansion long before a decision was ever made. I found even Liberal MPPs were still supportive of convenience stores in expansion of beer and not on side with the very confused party decisions and how they are managing it.

All in all we left the impressions of wanting to work with all three parties and also kept the door open for any/ all issues that might be coming our way.