While I more or less agree with your aggravation at the behaviour of their union, I’ll share the following observation:
I’ve travelled over about a third of NA, both sides and the middle, and have never seen single-site liquor stores, on average, as well stocked and presented as an LCBO store. (No, it’s not the whole continent. Sure, I’m probably missing places that invalidate my argument. These are just my observations).
Recent travels through the midwest (i.e. a month ago) indicate that the LCBO is close to price competitive after exchange (maybe 5% more expensive, 10% at most, for most stuff that I eyeballed the price on).
I happened to be living in Calgary during the few month period where the Alberta Liquor Board allowed the privatization of stores, and my experience was that prices tended to increase and selection tended to decrease after the move was made. (However, access did improve, as more stores were able to open.) Also, I believe the incidence of underage sales was found to go up, although I don’ t have a cite close to hand.
As much as I question the notion of gov’t run retail, and as much as the union’s position and incipient action frustrates and annoys me, I’m in no great rush to replace the LCBO with anything else.