"Winnipegger, the recovering alcoholic wants Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries to introduce a policy that would allow store employees to refuse to sell alcohol to customers who are chronic alcoholics.
Ryan Martens, who started drinking when he was just 13 years old to cope with childhood trauma, said he was stunned when he read Crown’s response to a recent story.
An investigation revealed that Liquor Mart, located in the city center on Ellis, sold 103,553 bottles of London Westminster Canadian Apera - cheap sherry with a high alcohol content - during the three-year period from 2015 to 2017. If compared these sales to Liquor Mart in St. Vitale, which sold only 378 bottles in the same period.
“They prey on vulnerable and weak people. They know that these people are addicted to alcohol,” said Martens.
A 33-year-old Martens just celebrated one year of sobriety past Christmas, said he drank 12-15 bottles of sherry a day before switching to strong drinks. "Alcohol to me made me lose everything. I lost my home. I lost my wife. I lost jobs I lost everything because of alcohol," he said. "We're so quick to talk about the meth crisis, well let's talk about the alcohol crisis.
Liquor and Lotteries claim that it refuses to sell alcohol to people who are intoxicated, and last year, employees at the Ellice store refused to serve such customers about 4,000 times.