Follow Up: The Salvation Army at the LCBO

Today I received a reply to my blog post The Salvation Army at the LCBO. To say that I am underwhelmed by the response would be putting it mildly. At the same time, I am not surprised by the response. My response is immediately below and the reply from the LCBO is below that. I’m not sure what responses others have received, if any.

Please share your experiences with trying to get a real response from the LCBO in the comments to this post.

My reply to LCBO response

Good day.

Thank you for your response. It is a wonderful piece of corporate communication that does not actually address the concerns expressed in my original message/complaint.

I appreciate that you have contacted the Salvation Army regarding this. Their response is their standard reply when anyone questions what their actual practices look like. Further, you seem to have completely missed my point that they are a religion and their doctrines toward LGBT people that does influence how they provide services and keeps many LGBT people from seeking services in the first place.

In addition, you also seem to have missed my points about seeking redress when discrimination happens, as well as the difficulties in proving discrimination in hiring practices. A response that is essentially, “they do not discriminate because they say they don’t” is not a real answer.

Talia C. Johnson.

Reply from the LCBO

Dear Talia Johnson,

Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns about the fund-raising relationship between LCBO and The Salvation Army. We apologize for the delay of our response.

In addition to being a customer-focused retailer, as a provincial government enterprise, LCBO endeavours to make a difference for the greater good as a socially responsible community partner. Last year, LCBO customers and employee contributions raised more than $10.2 million dollars for a variety of worthy causes through the LCBO’s provincial donation box program in our more than 650 stores across the province. These charitable organizations include four regional children’s hospitals, MADD Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, United Way, Ontario March of Dimes and many others. The Salvation Army’s annual December kettle drive campaign participates as part of LCBO’s “tagging” program outside of our stores.

LCBO’s annual dividends, which last year totaled $1.935 billion, excluding taxes, helps fund important government priorities such as health care, education and other important services.

In speaking with The Salvation Army Canada, they also want to address your comments and reinforce that the social and community services they provide to the vulnerable and marginalized, and their hiring practices, are done without discrimination. In 2015 alone, The Salvation Army provided social services to more than 1.8 million people in Canada.

If you have further questions, you are welcome to contact John McAlister, The Salvation’s Army’s National Director of Marketing and Communications, directly. John can be reached at 416-467-3186 or via e-mail at

Thank you again for your comments. LCBO staff will continue to contribute to the well-being of the communities across Ontario where we work and live.

If we have not fully addressed your question, please reply to this email leaving the subject line intact, or please reach out to us directly at 416-365-5900 or toll free at 1-800-668-5226.

Best Regards

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