Wine industry raises a glass to Nova Scotian MPs

We are raising our glasses to Lenore Zann, Kody Blois, Sean Fraser, our local Members of Parliament, who helped protect hundreds of Canadian wineries and thousands of jobs

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.

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 per cent Canadian grapes.

Today, we can be confident that our sector will recover, thanks to the ongoing support of prominent voices like Nova Scotia’s Members of Parliament, Kody Blois, Lenore Zann and Sean Fraser. Time and again, they have brought forward the issues and concerns of the wine industry, proposing solutions that will benefit this region, the province and the country.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts by these MPs, the federal government delivered a program that will address the pending loss of the excise duty exemption and will help us grow back better following the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

In its 2021 budget, the Government of Canada proved that it will continue to be there for Canada’s domestic wine industry, and the jobs it supports, with a robust program that will support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges. The new program will help every winery and every grower across Canada.

Wine Growers Canada (WGC), the national voice of the Canadian wine industry, welcomes the winery support program announced in the 2021 Federal Budget and will continue to work with Agriculture Canada and federal decision makers on the execution and extension of the support program. This program is necessary for the long term future of our industry and the economic prosperity of our country.

We are also appreciative that Kody, Lenore and Sean 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 in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia wine industry is a significant driver to the province’s economy, bringing an economic impact of $218 million.

Kody has been an advocate for the wine industry in Nova Scotia; working with the government to address trade challenges and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of winery owners. He highlights the need to continue to “prioritize and promote” Canadian viticulture.

As MPs of “wine ridings,” Kody, Lenore and Sean know how essential the sector is to the region and were untiring in their efforts to ensure that the sector continues to prosper.

We raise our glasses to them!

Dan Paszkowski

President and CEO

Wine Growers Canada