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Saskatchewan government starts liquor privatization process

The privatization of liquor retailing in Saskatchewan has begun.

On Thursday, the province issued a news release stating that the application process for liquor stores in Regina and Saskatoon had begun, with applications being selected through a Request for Proposal (RFP). With the first opportunities available in the two cities, there are a total of five open positions for private liquor stores in the province.

“This is a big first step as we transition to an expanded private retail liquor system,” said Don McMorris, minister for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

“Today’s announcement covers the first of 50 retail opportunities available in communities throughout Saskatchewan.”

The move was previously detailed back in November of 2015, when the government announced the conversion of 40 existing government liquor stores to private opportunities as well as the addition of 11 new retail opportunities.

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According to the release, the RFP documents outline details relating to criteria, process, timelines and other relevant information pertaining to obtaining a retail store permit and can be found at www.SaskTenders.ca.  The successful proponents must also meet the standard terms required to obtain a commercial liquor permit.

“We have had a lot of interest in these new opportunities since first making this announcement last fall,” McMorris said.  “Once fully implemented, we will have a retail liquor system that provides consumers with more choice, more convenience and more competitive pricing.”

Liqour stores in Lloydminster and the surrounding area will be open for RFP applications later on in the summer. The release states that starting July 18 and closing August 30, the Lloydminster location will be up for applications. Battleford, Shellbrook, St. Wahlburg, and Unity will be up starting July 25, and closed on September 7.

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