Friday, 7 June 2019


I have a feeling, actually I know, that this blog will be extremely unpopular with beer drinkers. So be it!

Thirty-six years in real estate meant thirty years of practising contract law and six years of teaching it. I practised and taught respect for contracts, the backbone of our real estate industry, more importantly, the backbone of business in Ontario.

Ensure that your client understands that the contract they have signed is binding. To breach it will lead to penalties,  I taught and was taught. To simplify it, only a breach or misrepresentation by the other party or mutual agreement can lead to the cancellation of a contract without penalty.

The PC-led legislature has just passed legislation to dissolve the Beer Store contract which runs until 2025. Not yet law, the legislation merely awaits royal assent.

I totally agree that this contract is flawed in that it allows the private foreign-owned Beer Store chain, worth $2.5 billion a year, the right to retail most of Ontario's beer. Almost a monopoly, but not legally one! The contract, negotiated in good faith, runs until 2025; the Beer Store owners have neither misrepresented their service nor breached their contract. To rip it (the contract) up could potentially lead to a protracted legal battle and significant damages. And we all know who will ultimately foot that costly bill.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce called Ford's legislation short-sighted  and warned of negative consequences. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Ontario to honour the contract as proof that existing business contracts in Ontario will be honoured. To not do so would deter investment. What was that election promise about Ontario Is Open For Business?

Let the Beer Store contract run until 2025 and then be done with it. I'm happy with that. What I vehemently disagree with is ripping up an existing legal contract and immediately allowing more access to alcohol because of an impulsive election promise. To do so sets a precedent and makes a mockery of contract law.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely 100% agree. 99% of the alcohol I consume is beer (mostly craft) and I really hate the Beer Store. Bad service and primitive. However, there is no compelling reason for the tax payers to have to pay such a large penalty..and they WILL pay!