“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.”
“I am pleased to welcome the Grape Growers of Ontario and Tourism Partnership Niagara to Ottawa to showcase all Niagara has to offer. Our grape growers continue to be an integral contributor to the success of Ontario’s wine industry, an economic driver for Niagara and our nation’s overall GDP. While the industry plays an important role in our local tourism industry, equally as important is that they strengthen Canada’s overall food strategy which will set a long-term vision for health, environmental, social and economic goals.”
– Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament, Niagara Centre
“Niagara is my home and it’s very special to be able to have the Grape Growers of Ontario up in Ottawa hosting Niagara Day on the Hill to showcase their industry and all that Niagara has to offer to Members of Parliament and Senators. The wine industry is an important part of Niagara’s tourism, economy and world renowned agricultural sector, I look forward to continuing to work alongside them.”
– Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament, St. Catharines
“I have always been supportive of the Grape Growers and of the wine industry in Niagara. Niagara’s grapes and wine have an enormous impact on our local and national economy and in fact, supports many business and commerce in the Niagara Region. Niagara Wines are just one more reason to visit our beautiful area”.
– Hon. Rob Nicholson, Member of Parliament, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie
“Niagara Day on the Hill was a fun and friendly event that showed our guests what our region has to offer. From our award-winning wineries and grape producers to our hospitality and generosity, Niagara was front and center as the world class tourist destination we know it to be.”
– Dean Allison, Member of Parliament, Niagara West
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The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents over 500 actively producing grape growers of 17,000 acres in the province’s three viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County, and the emerging Norfolk County.