January 28, 2005
Feedback: No Wonder Our People Leave
Having spent time in Mexico during the winter for a number of years, I certainly found the attitude to liquor retailing comparatively enlightened. And of course the problem with public drunkeness largley non existent. Nor did I observe any appearant problem with people spending thier grocery money on booze. Or at least any more so than rural Saskatchewan.
I just returned from Whitefish Montana and of course the purchase of wine and beer is possible in grocery stores and service stations. The selection is incredible and the prices very competitive.
Whitefish has it's own brewery, the Great Northern Brewing Company and just down the highway The Whitefish Brewing company makes it's wonderful micro brews in a back yard operation. If you order a micro brew at the Bierstube on Big Mountain, you will have to choose from sixteen different brands, all brewed in the north western states.
The deregulation and encouragement of malting and brewing has resulted in great variety and choice, competitive prices, investment and jobs. Plus some very sociable and interesting bars.
Compare to Saskatchewan. We have one brewery, formerly Labatts, owned by the provincial government. Inspite of that it makes pretty decent beer. One malt company that is largely dependent on the Canadian Wheat Board for supply of barley. And everything regulated and managed by the provincial liquor monopoly. Our liquor is expensive, our choice is limited and sadly, our bars are boring and ramshackle.
The liquor monopoly in Saskatchewan is, along with gambling, a major revenue earner for the provincial government. It is backed by powerful public sector unions and is even endorsed by the opposition Saskatchewan party.
We remain stuck in the anti privatisation, state control paradigm, of the 1940's. No wonder our people leave.
Email from Saskatchewan
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