Ontario’s convenience stores want the provincial government to allow them to sell beer in their stores.

Premier Ford promised to do it five years ago.

Speaking before the province’s finance committee in Windsor, Chief Executive Officer with the Ontario Convenience Stores Association David Bryans says they should be on an equal playing field.

“Since then, we’ve seen the expansion of beverage alcohol to grocery outlets, additional LCBO agency stores, over 1,800 bars and restaurants allowed to sell beverage alcohol with delivered foods,” says Bryans.

The province has also received a request to have corner stores sell hard liquors.

Bryans says store owners are more interested in selling beer and craft beer.

“I think if the government wanted to cut through all of this, let’s go to beer. I said to Vic Fedeli when he was Minister of Finance, just put craft beer in convenience stores. We would change the beer business forever. Everyone would come to the table, and we would help small businesses.”

Bryans says having permission to sell beer and craft beer could help keep stores from closing permanently.

He notes Ontario is losing five stores every week because of economic pressures.