While the actual net profit of the Société des alcools du Québec is now 1.7 times higher than in 1989, productivity at the state-owned corporation has stagnated over the entire period. In other words, there have been no true productivity gains since the late 1980s. This is the main finding of a recent study by the HEC Montréal Centre for Productivity and Prosperity – Walter J. Somers Foundation. “This is a significant conclusion,” laments CPP Director Robert Gagné. “It means that the Quebec government has not benefited as much as it could have from retail alcohol sales. By neglecting the importance of efficiency at the SAQ, the government has foregone potential additional income, or else it has forced consumers to pay more for their alcohol.”

To read more: Deslauriers, Jonathan, Robert Gagné, Claude Laurin and Jonathan Paré, Productivity in the Quebec Public Sector – the SAQ, Centre for Productivity and Prosperity (CPP) – Walter J. Somers Foundation, HEC Montréal, November 2016