London & District Labour Council, MPP Terence Kernaghan & Councillor Mariam Hamou strongly oppose application for a liquor licence by 7-Eleven at 1181 Western Road location
For Immediate Release, August 16, 2022
7-Eleven, a multinational corporation headquartered in Texas, has filed 61 applications for liquor licences in 31 municipalities with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. They are asking to serve beer and wine for on-site consumption in their stores and are deeming themselves as qualifying for ‘restaurant’ status. This includes the site at 1181 Western Road, which is located within a gas station. “In effect, they are turning their overpriced corporate corner stores and gas stations into bars,” condemns London and District Labour Council President, Patti Dalton. “7-Eleven stores are open 24 hours a day, with a typically underpaid and minimally trained young staff. Employees may find themselves in a difficult position to refuse an intoxicated customer. Given this location includes a gas station, the increased likelihood of drinking and driving should also be taken into consideration.”
The 7-Eleven at 1181 Western Road is located directly adjacent to Western University which already has issues with underage drinking and alcohol-related sexual assaults on and around campus. In September 2021, an 18-year-old Western student was killed in the parking lot of this location. “There are over 4000 first year students within the direct vicinity of this store, and putting alcohol sales here is a recipe for disaster,” comments Ward 6 Councillor Mariam Hamou. “Last year, we had many alcohol-fuelled assaults on the corner of Sarnia and Western Rd., one tragically ending in death. And let’s not forget how 30 girls were sexually assaulted in residences at Western. There are some serious safety issues and we need to help people feel safer in this area. I strongly recommend against any additional alcohol stores around underaged student residences and therefore hope this application is rejected.”
Local people are raising concerns about increased traffic hazards and community safety issues with the proposed licence, which is near two schools. “Residents and nearby businesses have been clear that 7-Eleven should not be granted liquor licenses that allow people to drink inside corner stores,” points out London North Centre MPP Terence Kernaghan. “It’s not fair to struggling local restaurants and bars, presents serious issues to community safety, and won’t make anyone’s lives better. 7-Eleven isn’t a restaurant, regardless of what they might argue, or what deal they might be trying to cook up with Doug Ford. “
While it is difficult to oppose applications like this one, the law allows the Tribunal to deny the license if it is found not to be in the public interest. Hearings on this application begin August 19, and there is a strong case that the application should be denied because it is not in the public interest. Concerned residents in the Sarnia and Western Road area as well as from across London are encouraged to contact their local city councillor and send letters of objection to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-person media opportunity on-site: Terence Kernaghan and representatives of London & District Labour Council will be at Western Rd. & Sarnia Rd. on Tuesday August 16, at 3 pm to discuss their objections to this licensing application.