London, Ont. Task force and politicians against 7-Eleven selling alcohol near West Campus – London

The London and District Labor Council and local politicians are battling 7-Eleven’s request to sell alcohol at a local connivance shop.

The group said it learned that the company had filed 61 liquor license applications in 31 municipalities with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

In an email to Global News, an AGCO spokesperson said “these licenses, if granted, would authorize the sale, service and consumption of alcohol only in stores.” [and] withdrawing alcohol would not be allowed.

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One of the London locations in question is at 1181 Western Rd., opposite Western University and the site where a freshman was killed in September 2021.

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“They call themselves a restaurant, and we don’t feel like 7-Eleven is a restaurant,” said Jeff Robinson, senior vice president of the labor council. “We basically think they’re trying to turn their gas station and convenience store into a local bar, and we think the last thing this community needs is another bar.”

“People are coming in to fill up their cars, and now they can come in and have a beer or a wine, and that’s very worrying,” he added.

The labor council fears the store is open 24 hours a day.

Robinson also cited proximity to Western University as a major concern, saying it might make it easier for underage university students to buy alcohol.

“Western University clearly has well-documented issues with underage drinking and sexual violence and other types of alcohol-fueled assault,” he said. “The last thing they need is more access to alcohol.”

Western community member David Heap echoed similar concerns, pointing to the company’s “very quiet application process”.

“The public notice period took place last winter. We only heard about it in March,” Heap said. “It happened at a time when the whole campus and most of the country was in lockdown. … It really flies under the radar of the community, local businesses and the campus community.

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“The Licensing Appeals Tribunal didn’t even grant western intervenor status as an objector,” Heap added. “They said they applied too late.”

He added that “obviously it’s a concern on campus.”

“As Jeff mentioned, sexual violence or alcohol-fueled parties are a problem on campus. [and] one more liquor store won’t make anyone’s situation any better.

Some of the labor council’s concerns are shared by several local politicians, such as Ward 6 Coun. Mariam Hamou.

“There are over 4,000 freshmen in direct proximity to this store and selling alcohol here is a recipe for disaster,” Hamou said.

“There are serious security issues, and we need to help people feel safer in this area. I strongly advise against any additional liquor stores around underage student halls of residence and therefore hope that this request will be denied.

MPP Terence Kernaghan said he was against the idea of ​​7-Eleven near Western and Sarnia roads being allowed to sell alcohol.

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MPP Terence Kernaghan raised some of his personal concerns about increased traffic hazards and community safety issues with the proposed permit, which is located near two schools.

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“Residents and neighboring businesses have made it clear that 7-Eleven should not be granted liquor licenses allowing people to drink inside convenience stores,” Kernaghan said. “This is not fair to struggling local restaurants and bars, it presents serious concerns for community safety and will not improve anyone’s life.

“7-Eleven is not a restaurant, no matter what they might discuss or what deal they might try to cobble together with Doug Ford.”

Allowing convenience stores to sell beer and wine was one of Premier Doug Ford’s election promises in 2018.

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Due to strong public and community interest in these applications, the AGCO has issued a Notice of Proposal (NOP) reviewing the 61 liquor license applications that 7-Eleven has filed in the province, including three in London. .

According to the AGCO, a NOP is a process by which the applicant is notified that the Registrar proposes to review, deny, revoke or suspend a license.

The decision has been appealed to the LAT and a hearing is due to begin on Friday to discuss the possibility of 1181 Western Rd. being a liquor license location.

An AGCO spokesperson confirmed to Global News that “to date no license has been issued to 7-Eleven.”

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Additional 7-Eleven locations claiming to sell alcohol in London are:

  • 76 Wharncliffe Road. NOT The liquor license application was approved. However, the location must still meet conditions set by London Fire Service, By-Law Enforcement and Local Health Department inspections.
  • 1076 Commissioners Road. The hearing of the application by the LAT ended on June 21, although it is still awaiting a decision from the court.

“Those with a liquor license are subject to specific rules and regulations to ensure that alcohol is served in a safe and responsible manner – for example, not serving someone who is intoxicated or underage,” said AGCO staff.

Global News has contacted 7-Eleven Canada for comment, but has not yet received a response.

– with files from Andrew Graham of Global News

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