10/24/2012 04:22 EDT | Updated 12/24/2012 05:12 EST

Saskatchewan premier ponders whether private liquor stores needed

REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is hinting that all new liquor stores in the province could be privatized.

Wall says there might be a debate in the fall sitting of the legislature on whether new liquor stores need to be government-owned.

The premier says additional stores are likely to be needed in larger cities because of population growth.

He questions whether taxpayer money should be spent on building liquor stores when investment is needed in health care, education and infrastructure.

But the premier insists that existing provincially owned liquor stores would not be privatized.

There are some private franchises in rural communities where the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority has allowed businesses to sell alcoholic beverages on its behalf.