QUEEN’S PARK – This St. Patrick’s Day, the Wynne Liberals have craft distillers in Ontario feeling very unlucky. The industry has been losing a fight to stop a new, crippling Liberal 61.5 percent tax, and are unlikely to ever get relief from the Liberals according to Ontario PC Deputy Leader Steve Clark.
“The Liberals’ commitment to supporting small businesses is about as real as seeing leprechauns,” said Clark. “They’re more interested in filling up their own pot of gold by raiding the craft distilling industry with a huge tax.”
Despite rallying cries not to proceed with the 61.5 per cent sale tax, the Wynne Liberals passed it in a massive omnibus bill in the Legislature in December 2016. The tax now affects Ontario’s small, independent craft distillers who sell products on-site, and it is 10 times what wineries pay for on-site sales.
One distillery — the Toronto Distillery Co., which had been operating since 2012 — was forced to shut down in early 2017 as a result of the new tax.
On October 25, 2015, MPP Steve Clark introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would have stopped this unfair tax, but the Wynne Liberals voted it down on March 9, 2017.
“The Wynne Liberals sent a very strong message on March 9th. They said they are opposed to small business. They’re opposed to job creation, and they’re opposed to getting our economy back on track,” added Clark.
Ontario is home to incredible craft distillers that make one of a kind products which can only be found here in Ontario, including:
Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers – Beamsville (Niagara West-Glanbrook)
Dixon’s Distilled Spirts – Guelph (Guelph)
Junction 56 Distillery – Stratford (Perth-Wellington)
King’s Lock Craft Distillery – Johnstown (Leeds-Grenville)
Last Straw Distillery – Concord (Thornhill)
Murphy’s Law Distillery – Elmira (Kitchener-Conestoga)
North of 7 Distillery – Ottawa (Ottawa South)
Polonée Distillery – St. Catharines (St. Catharines)
Rheault Distillery – Hearst (Timmins-James Bay)
Seventh Concession Distillers – Ayr (Cambridge)
Still Waters Distillery – Concord (Thornhill)
Kinsip House of Fine Spirits – Bloomfield (Prince Edward-Hastings)
Top Shelf Distillers – Perth (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington)
Wolfhead Distillery – McGregor (Essex)
Yongehurst Distillery – Toronto (Davenport)