A new C.D. Howe report released Wednesday revived the debate over the oligopoly that controls booze sales in Ontario. But what would a liberalized regime actually look like for the consumer? Ontario could look to other provinces - or its own (ignored) expert report - for a few ideas.
The recently released report by the C.D. Howe Institute calling for major change in Ontario's alcohol retailing system agrees with the Wine Council of Ontario's position that lack of competition is resulting in less choice for consumers and reduced government revenues.
Ontario's governing Liberals are shrugging off a new report claiming consumers could pay less for booze and the province could brew more profit from alcohol sales if the government opened up the business to more retailers.
Professors at Okanagan College have conducted extensive research to find out what motivates wine visitors to come to the valley, and what is needed to ensure they return. Along with the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and the British Columbia Wine Institute the team discovered the "greatest influence on visitor motivation."
Breaking down Ontario's prohibition-era liquor laws to allow local stores to sell alcohol would lower prices while generating more revenue for the government than current "quasi-monopolies," according to a new report.
A new Harris Decima poll shows that Canadians want the federal government to remove the limitation on importing wine from other provinces. About half of Canadians say they drink wine at least occasionally and nationally 17 per cent say they drink wine regularly, while 36 per cent say they drink wine occasionally.
A provincial pilot project to sell VQA wines at farmers' markets may need more flexibility to be beneficial, local wineries say. "Everybody, all the members are committed to it, and we're sticking with it, but I think it's going to take some time," said Ann Wilson, president and general manager of Oxley Estate Winery.
Another alcohol brand has looked beyond glass to offer a new line in PET packaging. Andrew Peller Limited has introduced skinnygrape spritzers in a 330ml barrier PET bottle from Amcor Rigid Plastics. The beverage was previously only available as a low-calorie wine in a 750ml glass bottle
Thanks to a new agreement between Ottawa and the European Union, Canada and the EU appear to be opening up freer trade terms than what's currently in place between the provinces. Provincial wine and craft beer monopolies that control and restrict distribution in their jurisdictions are arguably the most discussed impediments within Canada's tangle of internal trade barriers, according to experts.
Ontario's wine industry has grown rapidly from a promising, local curiosity to a burgeoning international presence, and the Wine Council of Ontario is working to ensure that the industry's management of natural resources can keep pace. Utilizing the expertise of the BLOOM Centre as an enabler and facilitator, the Wine Council is turning Ontario's wine sector into a hotbed for sustainable water innovation.