Currie’s Corner 655, September 13, 2018

Currie's Corner, Nostalgia Cafe

Currie’s Corner 655,  September 13, 2018

Before we are totally inundated with stories about the problems that will result from legal cannabis in Canada, a fascinating tale from Winnipeg about remarkably free access to a much older drug of choice, that would be alcohol.

The booze business in Manitoba now comes under a major crown corporation called  Liquor and Lotteries.

Unlike Saskatchewan where the private sector is gradually getting a foothold in the business, hard liquor in Manitoba can only be bought at government liquor stores.

The elders among us in both provinces can recall the days when you had to line up and fill out a form, then wait while someone went to the warehouse at the back and found the bottles of hooch that you wanted.

Sales increased rather dramatically when one day we were allowed to wander the aisles of the store and serve ourselves. But recently the ‘self serve’ concept has been going too far.

In the past 12 months, Liquor and Lotteries says $1.6 million worth of alcohol products has walked away from the stores without being paid for. 1,277 times, someone has picked up a bottle and walked out without making any effort to pay for it. They call it ‘product loss’ or ‘shrinkage’. Really ? I remember when we used to call it stealing.

There are private security types at the liquor stores. It seems they are trained to keep an eye out for theft, but not to really challenge the thieves if they see it happening. Given the widely-reported crisis that the real Winnipeg Police are having in dealing with criminals who are high on crystal meth, it’s not surprising the rent-a-cops don’t do anything.

What happens to the stolen booze ? Quite often apparently, the thieves turn around and sell it online. Surely there must be opportunities here for the young entrepreneurs who are involved with Uber and Skip The Dishes.

Add in home delivered marijuana and you can see why everyone is excited about the Gig economy in 2018.

I’m Roger Currie