Russian vodka pulled from LCBO shelves in Oshawa, Whitby and the rest of Ontario

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Published February 25, 2022 at 4:21 pm

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The LCBO has removed all Russian liquor products from store shelves as a show of support for the people of Ukraine.

“The people of Ontario will always stand against tyranny and oppression,” Ontario Finance Minister and Pickering-Uxbridge MP Peter Bethlenfalvy said Friday afternoon. “We will continue to be there for the Ukrainian people during this extremely difficult time.”

The LCBO is one of the world’s largest buyers of booze, importing alcohol from 80 countries and carries six brands of Russian vodka.

The decision to remove Russian products from the shelves of the province’s 660 LCBO locations is part of a larger effort to impose economic sanctions in the wake of the Ukrainian invasion by the Russian military.

Discussions between Premier Doug Ford and Bethlenfalvy began late Thursday after government officials noticed calls for such a boycott were all over social media.

Additionally, the LCBO received comments from many customers who were concerned about the Russian-made products remaining on the shelves for purchase at the 660 Ontario locations.

Earlier Thursday, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca wrote a letter to LCBO president George Soleas asking that several brands of Russian vodka be removed from shelves as a way to show support for besieged Ukraine.

Del Duca suggested that “any and all means,” both provincially and federally, of hurting Russia’s economy should be considered and acted upon.

Last year, the liquor store in Ontario removed a specific vodka brand from its rotation based on complaints from the public that the product’s name resembled that of former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin.

With files from Declan Finucane

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