Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN ALBAS -- Trudeau Liberal government will, over the course of the next two years, remove the excise exemption for 100% Canadian grown and produced wines

While it would be relatively easy this week to cover the latest developments of the WE Charity Foundation, as they unfold at the Finance Committee, I would rather focus on outcomes of government policies.

More specifically when former Conservative Finance Minister, the late Jim Flaherty, created a very important policy to the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys.

On July 1st in 2006, Minister Flaherty announced that wines that were produced in Canada, with 100% Canadian grown grapes, would be fully exempt from paying the federal excise tax on alcohol.

This was a policy that, according to Wine Growers of Canada President Dan Paszkowski, has “resulted in more than 400 new wineries and 40 million litres of new wine sales. The annual economic impact of this growth is $4.4 billion annually. Now that was a smart federal program with a solid ROI”.

Here in the Okanagan, we have all witnessed many wineries and resulting spin off business emerge throughout literally every community.

Flash forward to 2017, the Trudeau Liberal Government introduced a permanent measure to create an “escalator excise tax” in that year’s federal budget.

What is an escalator excise tax?

As I explained in my June 21st, 2017 MP Report, it is a tax that “would be levied on most wine, beer and spirits sold in Canada. Under an escalator tax essentially the tax rate is increased every year and is set by civil servants linked to inflation as opposed to having to come before the House for debate in the annual budget.”

As the Conservative opposition at that time, we opposed this tax.

Unfortunately, Australia, a country that imports a significant amount of wine into Canada, filed a trade challenge with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over this policy.

The reason is that the Trudeau escalator tax would increase the cost of Australian wine to Canadian consumers every year however, 100% Canadian grown and produced wines would be exempt.

This week it was quietly announced that the Justin Trudeau Liberal government will, over the course of the next two years, remove the excise exemption for 100% Canadian grown and produced wines thus increasing their costs.

How this will impact our local wineries here in the Okanagan and elsewhere, at this point, remains unknown.

One of the challenges is B.C. wineries already pay a significant amount of taxes to local, provincial and federal governments, that competing wines outside of Canada do not pay.

There is also the added test that currently only three Canadian provinces allow winery to consumer shipping directly from outside of the home province.

With restaurants generally purchasing less wine on account of reduced hours and capacity, these are now tough times for an important local industry to our region.

Ironically with wines sales being reduced, the considerable amount of excise and sales tax on wine is also reduced, thus netting less government revenue in these areas.

My question this week comes back to the escalator tax:

Do you support a tax automatically increasing each year, set in legislation, as opposed to being fixed and reviewed each year in a budget?”

I can be reached at:
Email: Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca
Toll Free: 1-800-665-8711

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE SIDEWINDER -- Just quit your constant damned whining and do something positive about it

  Living in a democracy is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibilities such as voting and being involved. When the dust settled on Saturdays (October 24 th ) BC election, less than two thirds of the eligible voters * took the time to vote - but the loudest bitchers will probably be among the more than one third of voters who sat on their asses and complained about how all politicians are crooks, etc. How many of you constant whiners have ever done anything close to becoming involved; or do you just like sniveling to hear your own voice? Are you one the arseholes who likes to take advantage of everything our democracy has to offer, without ever contributing anything? And I don't want to listen to your crap about paying taxes, blah, blah, blah. There's more to making democracy work than simply voting and then sitting back and let others carry the ball for you. Too many people seem unwilling to get involved - and follow-up - to make sure elected po

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su

THE SIDEWINDER: MacDUFF'S NAIVE CALL

I have just struggled through Cheryl Ashlie's column ( MacDuff’s Call: A political novice with a sizeable ego ), in the Sept. 22 edition of The Maple Ridge News. To say the least, Ashlie's comments are naive and show just how totally out of touch she has become with political reality. Ashlie lauds the decision of Darryl Plecas to accept John Horgan's invitation to become the Speaker of the House, a move described by almost everyone else as self-serving and a betrayal of the trust of the constituents who voted for him. Ashlie claims Plecas' turncoat move will help provide good governance but in making this claim, she fails to explain how he will achieve this lofty goal.

Labels

Show more