May 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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SAQ monopoly: Investors should not control, says Amir Qadeer

SAQ monopoly: Investors should not control, says Amir Qadeer

Host Paul LaRocque raised his glass to the quality of the discussion among the panelists on the show The Joust On Wednesday evening they agreed that they disagreed on the importance and necessity of the Société des Alcohols du Québec (SAQ) monopoly over the sale of alcoholic products on Quebec soil.

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“I don't see a problem in collectively owning a happy financier that benefits everyone,” said Ameer Qadeer, a former spokesman for Quebec Solidaire.

The specialist doctor explains, “There is no problem, in some aspects, in some areas, especially when it is very profitable – in the easy dollar – it is not entrepreneurs and investors who control it and this can be the source. Funds so that the state can return to its people in a good way.

“That's why we have the means in Quebec,” he said. Thanks to Hydro-Québec, the SAQ, it's this kind of joy that we're a little better off in terms of our low-cost daycares and universities in Quebec. Great, that's how it works!”

However, according to political analyst Luc Lavoie, the problem is not the principle of having state corporations that make it possible to provide more services to citizens. Rather, the assumption is that this firm monopolizes an entire area of ​​the economy.

“The whole absurdity of the SAQ is in the fact that when I go to a convenience store, it has to be cheap and if I want to drink good wine, I have to go to the SAQ,” he said. It's almost worse than Monopoly, it's horrible.

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“That can be fixed,” Mr. Qadir retorted, “but these are choices made by the SAQ's leaders, who are focused on “business” and here is a conflict between his mandate. Quality. The SAQ must distribute good quality wines to small convenience stores that offer products.”

According to him, the role of managers of a state corporation should go beyond the simple idea of ​​generating profits.

“The people we put there come from our best management schools and only think about profit,” he criticized. They have no other grids or other perspectives than what they are taught in management schools to maximize profits.

“But Amir,” Mr. Lavoie asked him, “is there a management school that teaches future managers how not to make a profit? I have a hard time keeping up.”

Columnist and host Yasmin Abdelfadel joins the discussion.

According to her, “SAQ is not a workers cooperative whose aim is to make profits and distribute them as subsidies. That's not the goal.”

The analyst recalled that SAQ's monopoly was “a huge obstacle for small suppliers and small producers of wines, especially Quebec wines, who said they had no right to participate and enormous difficulties in distributing through the SAQ network. It was mandatory.”

Once again, Mr. Qadeer, who seems to be the bane of this debate, is back to defend his idea regarding the role of the state corporation.

“If [l’objectif] To increase general interest, they have a policy of favoring 20 products from Quebec and good quality in our convenience stores,” he explained.

“We need to appoint people to SAQ, a public company, who have a public focus and a broader vision than the dollar,” he concluded.

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