The Ontario government is preparing to unveil its plan for changing how alcohol is sold in the province by allowing all grocery and convenience stores and gas stations to sell booze starting in 2026. Industry sources told CBC News on Tuesday the plan is going to cabinet, and the announcement is to be made on Thursday. Three sources in the industry said the main changes include allowing all convenience stores and gas stations that sell food to offer beer, wine, cider and any ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic beverages; allowing grocery stores to sell beer, wine, cider and RTDs, scrapping the existing cap on the number with licences; and ending restrictions permitting the Beer Store to sell cases of 12 and 24. The industry sources said the reforms to Ontario’s retail alcohol sector would not come into effect until Jan. 1, 2026. That is because a contract setting out the rules for beer sales in Ontario remains in force until then. The contract — known as the Master Framework Agreement (MFA)— is between the government and the multinational brewing companies owning the Beer Store. The sources said the government will issue official notice this week that it intends to terminate the agreement when it expires at the end of 2025. Terminating the agreement would not mean the end of the Beer Store, as its stores will be allowed to continue. Ontario Premier Doug Ford indicated at a press conference in November the Beer Store has a future in Ontario. “We're going to be continuing to negotiate with the Beer Store, and they'll still play an important role in the whole system,” said Ford.Ford made a campaign promise in 2018 to allow convenience stores to sell beer and wine, but the MFA stood in the way of fulfilling it. The MFA, which was signed by former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, capped the number of grocery store locations selling beer or wine at 450, precludes them from selling beer in any format larger than a six pack and prohibits retail sales from convenience stores. The Ontario government went as far as tabling a bill to scrap the MFA in 2019. While the legislation passed, it did not go into force. Under the terms of the MFA, scrapping it before it expires would put Ontario on the hook for unspecified financial penalties to be paid to the big brewers. The sources said the amount could run well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the course of the past year, it held closed-door consultations with industry officials on what it called modernizing the alcohol sales regime. It required all participants in the consultations to sign non-disclosure agreements. While it will commit to changes in the taxation of wine and beer, none of them confirmed what they will be. Two sources said the government will require retailers to devote some portion of their shelf space to Ontario’s craft breweries and small-scale wineries, but they had no particulars. The sources said the reforms will not alter the role or structure of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. A Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction spokesperson said after more than 30 years of privatized liquor sales, it was pleased to see the Ontario government copy Alberta. “At this time, the Government of Alberta has no plans to expand alcohol sales channels in the province, but will be watching closely as the Government of Ontario’s plan is announced,” said the spokesperson.The Ontario government revived its efforts to allow the sale of beer in the province's corner stores in August, but the Alberta government had no plans to do the same.READ MORE: Ontario moving ahead with plan to sell beer in corner stores, Alberta no plan to follow suit“Currently, there is no provision in the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act that would support corner stores or gas stations to sell beer or liquor,” said Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction Minister Dale Nally. The Ontario government left the Alberta government behind, as it committed to allowing the sale of beer in corner stores if certain conditions were met.