June 22, 2021
The Toronto Star
The LCBO is discontinuing a brand of vodka after advocacy groups noted it was named for Josef Stalin, the infamous dictator of the former Soviet Union.
A post made on the Ukrainian Canada Facebook page called for the removal of Stalinskaya Vodka at stores, citing problematic ties to Stalin’s involvement in the genocide of Ukrainians.
Ihor Michalchyshyn, the CEO of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ (UCC), said when people heard about the liquor being sold at the stores, they reached out to LCBO, asking them to review the company’s community standards for names of alcohol.
Following the review, they found the vodka “does not meet the LCBO’s name and labelling standards and is no longer available for sale,” an LCBO spokesperson told the Star.
Michalchyshyn said he appreciates the company doing so, saying: “We are continuously trying to speak and work on behalf of the Ukrainian-Canadian people.”
Calls for cancelling the vodka came after other communities across Canada began discussing removing names of historical figures who’ve caused tragedy and trauma.
Breanna Xavier-Carter is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Reach her via email: email@example.com