Grape Growers of Ontario host ‘Niagara Day on the Hill’ in Ottawa

“Niagara Day on the Hill” is the first ever event held in Ottawa to showcase the Niagara Region as one of Canada’s top five tourism destinations, welcoming over 30 million tourists annually.

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“Niagara Day on the Hill” is the first ever event held in Ottawa to showcase the Niagara Region as one of Canada’s top five tourism destinations, welcoming over 30 million tourists annually. Grape Growers of Ontario hosted the event together with the Tourism Partnership of Niagara and the four local Members of Parliament: Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre; Chris Bittle, St. Catharines; Dean Allison, Niagara West; and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie.

“Niagara Day on the Hill” gave grape growers and Ontario wineries the opportunity to meet with MPs from across Canada to highlight the importance of the grape and wine sector to Canada’s economy, generating $9 billion in economic activity including $1.1 billion in tax revenue and $1.5 billion in tourism-related impact.

With investment in research and technology over the past 30 years, the Ontario grape and wine industry has developed world class wines from our cool climate region. The industry is facing a WTO challenge to a number of provincial and federal policies with respect to wine sales in Canada, including the exemption from excise duty for 100% Canadian-grown wine. In 2006, the federal government exempted wine made from 100% domestic content from paying excise duty. According to Canada Revenue Agency, the litres of wine relieved of excise duty increased from 22.8 million litres in 2007 to 70 million litres in 2015. This policy has stimulated demand for Canadian grapes and helped make our grapes and wine to be competitive with imported bottled and bulk wine.

“The Grape Growers of Ontario and our wine industry have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the Canadian Government and their support has helped us build a resilient and successful industry,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario. “We have a collective interest in the continued growth of the Canadian grape and wine industry. Every bottle of 100% Canadian wine contributes $90 to the economy compared to just $15.73 from a bottle of imported wine.”

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