Those are 'private' liquor stores within a province that has control of all sales of alcohol. The price of alcohol in countries with truly privitized systems is a fraction of the cost here in Canada. You can get a bottle of wine in France for 80 cents, and a 24 of beer in the US for 10 bucks.
But like Avelanch said, a big reason prices are high is due to the taxes on alcohol sale.
So maybe from a monetary standpoint for people like you and me, privatization could be helpful. However, I can't see it helping with any dependency issues, and if anything I could see it hurting that cause. If a 24 pack of beer is have the price, that means the low income fellow who cannot keep a steady hand with his finances, and has an alcohol dependency will go out thinking he can just buy more beer now. Heck I know I would.
People are going to drink (and do drugs) no matter what, but people aren't going to gamble no matter what. You can test that imperically by looking at how well prohibition works, and gambling rates with respect to how close one lives to a casino. If people don't live near a casino or slots, the vast majority of those people won't gamble, if they do live near a casino, gambling rates increase dramatically. On the flip side, if alcohol (or more recently and comparibly, drugs) is illegal/controlled/restricted it doesn't change the rate of usage. I can find a study that I read a little while ago that proves the gambling/proximity thing if you want.
I can believe that.
That just reverts back to my point that people just need to be better educated, and that if they get into a hole, the worst thing they can do is try to gamble out of it. There is no real dependency on gambling, it's just a fun past time for most people.