Big Beer, big business.
A little over two weeks ago I wrote a blog post called Government Regulation & Beer Sales: Controversy Brewing. It began,
Big pharma… The corn lobby… The dairy lobby… The beer lobby?
The beer lobby?
Little did I know how far it goes or that “Big Alcohol” really is real, not some hyperbole I made up to make a point.
Last Thursday I read an article in Now Magazine written by Dan Grant called Redefining beer money, subtitled When our ministers’ campaigns are paid for by foreign brew interests, it’s easy to see why The Beer Store reigns supreme.
In Ontario we like to think we’re more righteous – that our politicos aren’t quite so easily influenced by money as they are in the U.S. We have no American-style Super PACS (political action committees), and our lobby groups are less aggressive and well-funded on this side of the Great Lakes. We enjoy relative transparency in reporting election spending. All campaign donations over $100 dollars and their deposit dates are available at Elections Ontario’s real-time reporting website.
However, we do have loopholes that let foreign firms buy influence.
Read the article to find out which Ontario politicians have had money deposited into campaign accounts and by whom, and to learn who received a total of $15,000 in leadership campaign donations from senior management of The Beer Store.
It’s astonishing — and yet, not entirely surprising.