Over the past two decades, the Canadian wine industry has become one of the biggest successes of Canada’s agri-food sector.
Canadian wineries create jobs and boost regional, provincial and national economies alike. The wine and grape industry is responsible for more than 37,000 jobs in Canada, from vineyard and agricultural services and supplies, to, transportation, research, hospitality, and retail.
In addition, wine-related tourism welcomes more than 3.7 million visitors each year, generating more than $1.5 billion annually in tourism revenue and employment to the national economy.
Then, the wine sector, like many other industries, was hit — hard — by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with that, the government announced the end to the excise duty exemption for wine made from 100 percent Canadian grapes.
Thanks to the ongoing efforts by some local MPs, the federal government delivered a program that will address the pending loss of the excise duty exemption and will help the Canadian wine industry grow back better following the uncertainty created by the pandemic.
In its 2021 Budget, the Government of Canada included a program that will support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges. The new program will help every winery and every grower across Canada.
Ministers Chrystia Freeland and Mary Ng are working with the industry to complete the final details of the winery support program and are working to ensure the program is fully funded and extended beyond two years to remove uncertainty and to protect and create long term jobs and growth.
Minister NG calls the wine industry in Canada “vibrant and full of incredible entrepreneurs and producers,” promising to continue her support.
The grape and wine sector generates more than 18,000 jobs in Ontario. The federal leaders know how essential the sector is to Ontario and have been untiring in their efforts to ensure that the sector continues to prosper.
We raise our glasses to them!
Story submitted by Dan Paszkowski, President & CEO, Wine Growers Canada.