Canada’s grape and wine industry is looking for some signs of relief in the federally tabled budget on April 19. That’s because an excise tax will be reimposed in June 2022 as part of a settlement with Australia which complained at the World Trade Organization about unfair treatment of imported products.
An Easter weekend article in the Toronto Star underscored the impact with an estimate of 50 cents per bottle on winemakers using 100-per cent Canadian-grown grapes. The tax will affect winemakers in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia at the time they bottle their wine.
For Ontario, there will be a trickle-down effect on the province’s 500 vineyards and 175 Vintners Quality Alliance wineries.
The Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO), helmed by CEO Debbie Zimmerman, has suggested that the federal government launch a rebate program for domestic producers to offset the excise duty. GGO will hold its annual general meeting virtually on April 7.
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Source: St. Catharines Standard April 3, 2021