Yes, the timing is suspect. But why has government ever been in the booze business? Regulate, tax and move on.
Some people believe that if government makes something mandatory (which is a regulation), it should be government run. Examples are insurance, health care and public education. And although everyone needs food and shelter, we allow 'the market' to determine house and food prices. Curiously, government DOES limit rent increases.
Alcohol consumption is NOT compulsory, so the real question is... why wasn't the entire liquor and spirits industry completely privatized years ago? The average price of a bottle of wine in Alberta is 20% below BC's retail prices. In Alberta private liquor stores actually compete with sales and they buy a lot of advertising, especially print. So competition creates ancillary jobs.
Yes, I realize this comes as a shock and an affront to people who believe government and political parties never play favourites, never give friends the inside track on jobs, that people who know other people who are in government or a political party might get the inside track on government work or government-owned goodies. I suppose they believe it has never happened before under any regime, so why should it start now?
A solution might be to have a minimum if three private distributors and let them compete.