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April 20, 2021

Canadians are back drinking again

Back when the recession was going on, no one could get a grasp on alcohol sales.

1144224_liquor The conventional wisdom went: the economy’s tanking, so we’re getting tanked. And, indeed, that was the reality during much of the downturn.

But then, the thinking shifted. Not only did we not have jobs, Canadians couldn’t even afford to drink, and alcohol sales began to sink. What the heck was going on?

In any case, as much of the economy’s uncertainty has eased, so has our relationship with booze. Canadians, we’re back drinking again.

According to the latest Stats Canada numbers, beer and liquor sales rose in the fiscal year ending Mar. 31, 2010, a spike of 2.8 per cent from the previous year. That’s $19.9 billion worth of booze Canadians downed as the recession began to repair.

Also worth noting is the return of Canadians sipping their favourite imported beers. While some consumers may have been spooked off splurging for the expensive stuff, Canucks returned to pricey imports in droves last year, sending the volume of imported beer sales up 7.8 per cent.

Ontarians are still the biggest alcohol buyers in the country, according to Stats Canada; their $1.9 billion in booze purchases last year was up 0.9 per cent from 2009.

But when it comes to the alcohol rebound – the percentage uptick from 2009 to 2010 when times got better – many other provinces and territories swatted Ontario to the side rushing back to liquor stores.

Quebec and Newfound and Labrador alcohol sales increased 6.3 per cent from 2009 to 2010, P.E.I.’s jumped 6.6 per cent, Yukon rose 9.2 per cent and Nunavut won the national race. Alcohol sales spiked a whopping 10.2 per cent in the territory year-over-year, according to Stats Canada.

Are you drinking more, less or the same since the recession ended?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...