Sunday, April 14, 2024

Province scraps LCBO’s ‘controlled entrances’ pilot program

Toronto (Feb 15) A new theft-control initiative requiring customers to show their photo identification to gain entrance to be piloted in six LCBO stores in Northern Ontario has been scrapped by the province.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) announced on February 13 that this “controlled entrances” pilot program would begin this spring in six stores located in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and Kenora. 

“These stores were chosen because their contained geography from other LCBO stores allows us to measure the effectiveness of controlled entrances on theft,” the liquor board said a news release on its website. 

However a spokesperson for Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy told CTV News on Wednesday that the program is being called off.

Controlled entrances required customers who appear to be 17 years or older to present photo identification (ID) to security personnel at the store entrance before being welcomed into the store. Photo IDs would be scanned to ensure that it is legitimate/valid, and to confirm that the customer is of legal drinking age (if unaccompanied by an adult) and has not been involved in any prior in-store incidents. If an individual did not meet these requirements, they will be unable to enter the store.  

“Over the past 24 hours, I have heard serious concerns about the LCBO’s newly announced pilot program. I’ve directed the LCBO to cancel it immediately,” Bethlenfalvy’s spokesperson Colin Blachar said in a written statement provided to CTV News Toronto.

 LCBO followed up with a statement on their website stating the pilot was scrapped at the direction of the provincial government.

“Following direction from the Ontario Government, LCBO will not be moving forward with our controlled entrances pilot.” the statement said. “We remain committed to working collaboratively on additional measures to reduce shop theft and violent incidents in our stores and to ensuring safe experiences for our customers and employees.”

According to The Retail Council of Canada, retailers report that incidents of retail theft that involve some form of violence have increased 300% over the past four years. 

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