July 2019

Recently the OCC released the Ontario Chamber Network’s Alcohol Report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario, with recommendations that your PEC Chamber, and our membership, have actively participated in developing. The Beverage Alcohol industry impacts and supports a number of adjacent industries, including farming, tourism and hospitality. The power of beverage alcohol to be a force for economic development – particularly rural economic development – should be reflected in policy making. As a member of the Ontario Chamber Network and its diverse 60,000 members, our mission is to support economic growth by defending business priorities.

With that said, please click here to access the Ontario Chamber Network’s Alcohol Report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario. This report outlines how the Province could modernize the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol responsibly and promote growth across all four categories-wine, beer, spirits, and cider. Click here for a “Key Highlights” document from the report.
Since March, the PEC Chamber has been participating in the development of the report and was pleased to have hosted the OCC for 2 days in May, including 6 round-table discussions at the Chamber office, with contributions to the report coming from over 25 local businesses across all 4 beverage alcohol sectors in The County. Our guests from the OCC policy department were also delighted to have visited and toured 18 businesses, restaurants and sights in the County during their stay.

As a Chamber Network we hope to achieve the following with this report:

*       With the end of the VQA Wine Support Program, the cancellation of
the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program, and the lack of
funding geared towards promoting beverage alcohol tourism, we note that the industry is at a critical juncture.
*       We aim to encourage the Province to take a comprehensive, rather
than a piecemeal, approach to reform. Doing so would level the playing field and address existing inequities facing all 4 categories – wine, beer,
spirits, and cider.
*       As the Province must work with all 4 categories, the LCBO, and
public health officials to bring about reforms that benefit consumers,
producers, and the province alike.

By removing barriers and leveling the playing field, the Province can unleash the potential of the beverage alcohol sector, support regional economic development, meet the needs of today’s consumer, and generate greater tax revenue to fund the public services on which Ontarians rely. The power of the beverage alcohol sector to be a force for economic growth extends beyond just the expected industries. The production, distribution, and sale of alcohol has a ripple effect that benefits agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and retail in all corners of the province.

OCC Beverage Alcohol Report