Statement from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Regarding Controlled Entrances at Liquor Marts

Statement from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Regarding Controlled Entrances at Liquor Marts

Last night, following a serious incident, the Tyndall Market Liquor Mart was immediately closed. It remains closed while we work with the employees on next steps.

In recent months, we have witnessed new trends in the tactics used to commit thefts in our Liquor Marts. Since the summer, we have seen increased swarmings by minors, and more alarmingly, a greater number of weapons being brandished, including bear spray, pipes and knives. Interventions by frustrated customers have also increased, putting themselves at risk of escalating a situation and also increasing the risk to all those working and shopping in the store. From day one, we have said that our main priority is the safety of our employees and customers. This continues to hold true today.

Prior to last night’s incident, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries had already set in motion plans for next level theft-intervention measures. A controlled entrance project has already been underway for a few weeks with the aim to prevent thieves from entering the store. An announcement informing our customers about these changes was already in process; however, the seriousness of last night’s incident demanded an immediate response.

The way you shop at Liquor Marts is changing. In the coming weeks and months, our customers need to be aware of what to expect when they come to our stores.
Under the controlled entrance project:

  • All Winnipeg Liquor Marts will be retrofitted with controlled entrances.
  • At these stores the inner Liquor Mart door will be locked, and customers will be required to show valid photo identification at a security station before being allowed entry to the store. The same forms of ID that are already accepted for proof of age are being accepted for entry. These include a valid driver’s licence, Manitoba ID card, passport and certificate of Indian status. Alternatively, two forms of government-issued identification must be shown, one of which must be photo ID. Examples include a permanent resident card, Canadian Forces ID card and Canadian firearms licence.
  • As we roll this out, minors will no longer be permitted in these Liquor Marts, even when accompanied by an adult.

We will not be providing further specific operational details that could compromise our security efforts.

The Tyndall Market Liquor Mart will be one of the first Winnipeg locations to be fitted with a controlled entrance. This location was selected because the entry is large enough to support the installation of an entry ID check while remaining wheelchair accessible without major renovations. We anticipate the controlled entrance at this store being operational by mid-next week. While it will be one of the first Liquor Marts to be retrofitted, the controlled entrance initiative will be expanded to all Winnipeg Liquor Marts. We are not prepared to share further information related to the roll-out by identifying which stores, and when. Publishing these types of details only exacerbates the situation by arming thieves with information about Liquor Marts and our theft deterrent measures, which may make them more vulnerable.

While this initiative is being implemented, we will continue to work with the Winnipeg Police Service and expand their presence at Winnipeg Liquor Marts. We thank the Winnipeg Police Service for their continued partnership and support.

As a modern retailer, we have tried to balance employee and customer safety with an enjoyable shopping experience. Unfortunately, rising crime in the city, has left us no option but to take these drastic measures. We know you will be inconvenienced, and we are sorry, but the safety of our employees and customers comes first.


News release document