Free My Rye Act Creates Jobs Gives Consumers More Choice

QUEEN’S PARK – Joined by the owner of the Toronto Distillery Co. Charles Benoit and Last Straw Distillery owner Don Dimonte, MPP Tim Hudak (Niagara West-Glanbrook) talked about how his Private Member’s Bill, Free My Rye, will help craft distillers grow and create jobs in Ontario.


Hudak said, “Both PC and Liberal governments have created benefits to help craft brewers and VQA wineries gain greater market access and grow their business. These measures have been very successful and it is time to do the same for craft distillers.”

The Bill will accomplish four goals reflecting benefits already available to craft brewers and VQA wineries:

1. Lower tax rate for small batches to help distillers reinvest and create jobs.

2. Remove the middle man to allow direct delivery of spirits to restaurants, bars and consumers.

3. Allow distilleries to sell by the glass on the premises.

4. Increase access for customers through additional retail outlets.

“There are some very unique products coming out of Ontario that simply aren’t being made available to the general consumer because the taxes are so high and delivery so convoluted,” said Hudak.

The Bill aims to help Ontario take advantage of a growing market where craft spirits have taken off. Hudak cited that in the United States the number of craft distilleries has increased 15-fold in the past decade from 50 to 769, with estimates that the number will rise to 1000 by 2018.

Benoit said, “The Free My Rye Act will ensure Ontario isn’t left behind. In places like British Columbia, small scale distilleries have taken off thanks to pro-small business policies.”

“Let’s create a level playing field for small distilleries, giving them a fair opportunity to compete in a growing marketplace and create jobs in Ontario,” said Hudak.

Hudak’s Private Member’s Bill passed first reading in the Ontario Legislature on May 17, 2016.