Ontario Conservatives cancel LCBO’s mandatory ID scan following public outcry

Despite increasing LCBO thefts, Ontario’s Minister of Finance has quashed a planned pilot-project that would have required customers to have their driver’s license scanned upon entry into certain stores. 

Ontario Conservatives cancel LCBO’s mandatory ID scan following public outcry

The LCBO intended to use the pilot project as an attempt to curb the high rates of theft, particularly in certain stores in rural areas.

But after a number of citizens raised privacy and security concerns related to a crown corporation effectively requiring a digital ID, Ontario PC Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy kiboshed the project within 48 hours of it being announced. 

According to the Ministry’s Senior Media Relations Advisor, Scott Blodgett, the Ministry “continues to be supportive of the LCBO and has requested it look at alternative programs to further ensure the safety of its customers and employees.” 

LCBO upset with decision

LCBO executives were surprised and dismayed by the decision. According to a report by the state broadcaster CBC, Bethlenfalvy had been informed about the project several weeks before its initial announcement, suggesting he initially approved the anti-theft measure. However, he reversed his stance after realizing the extent of opposition from various stakeholders.

A number of videos have been posted to social media showing thieves brazenly stealing dozens of bottles of liquor, and walking past security and staff without issue.

In May, 21-year-old Gagandeep Singh, who was facing charges for two other liquor store robberies, fled police by driving the wrong way on a highway, resulting in a crash that killed three people and himself.

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