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OCSA: Retailers call on Queen’s Park to talk c-store issues

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For the November 2013 Convenience CONNECT newsletter from the OCSA, click on the following link:  OCSA_ConvenienceConnect_November2013

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) shone a spotlight on major convenience industry issues when it brought its retailer members to Queen’s Park in Toronto October 29 and 30.

The events kicked off with the announcement from CEO Dave Bryans that OCSA retailers will dedicate at least 30% of their shelf space to Ontario craft beer and wine when presented with the opportunity to retail these products in the province.

On October 30, 25 OCSA retailers representing 7-Eleven, Mac’s, Petro-Canada, and many others, including independents, met with MPPs in an effort to increase government collaboration and improve the c-retailing landscape in Ontario. Here’s what they discussed:

Beer and wine

The OCSA has been advocating for the right to sell beer and wine in convenience stores, and is urging government to modernize the province’s alcohol retail system. More agency stores in Ontario c-stores could be a good place to start.

Contraband tobacco

In its 2013 budget, the Ontario government outlined measures it will take to help fight contraband tobacco and its associated criminal elements, and the OCSA would like to see the province act on all commitments made.

Healthy Kids panel

The OCSA is working with governments to ensure healthier living for Ontario families and their communities. Bryans is one of 18 members of the Ontario Healthy Kid’s Panel, which has a goal to develop recommendations on how Ontario can best make a difference in promoting the health and well-being of children and youth. As retailers, it’s important to keep this in mind:

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem, affecting the communities we serve. But implementing unsubstantiated regulations, laws and taxes on many of the items we sell, is not an effective way to deal with the issue,” says Bryans. “Instead, we’re working with the government to come up with ways to educate retailers and consumers on alternate products related to healthier choices.”

To stay on top of all OCSA files, be sure to visit The OCSA website and to follow @OntarioCStores on Twitter.

For the August 2013 Convenience CONNECT newsletter from the OCSA, click here: OCSAConvenienceConnectNewsletter