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‘Raise a Glass to Ontario’ Act passes second reading

Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith’s bill to cut red tape for Ontario’s beverage alcohol sector passed second reading Thursday.

The ‘Raise a Glass to Ontario Act’ was introduced at the end of the 40th Parliament but died when the election was called last spring. The bill to amend the Liquor Control Board Act is expected to give a helping hand to wineries and cideries in Prince Edward County.

“I’ve got 40 wineries, a craft distillery, a craft brewery and a cidery in my riding,” Smith said. “The access to the marketplace for Ontario products isn’t helping grow the industry. Ontario wines are winning international awards, but they’re having trouble getting wide distribution in Ontario restaurants and at the LCBO.”

Smith said many craft brewers are seeing their sales grow at the LCBO and at their on-site stores.

“Some of the best beer in the country is being made by small brewers right here in Ontario,” Smith said. “But small brewers are having trouble reaching customers, expanding beyond their regional markets. That’s not that surprising when your competition is the main retail outlet for your product.”

“When it comes to the shipping and cross-selling sections of the bill, the AGCO actually recommended them to the government last year,” Smith said. “This is a bill that’s good for vintners, brewers, distillers and consumers in the province of Ontario.

“This was three years’ work for my local constituents that passed today.” Smith added. “It was great to see it pass.”

Video of Todd Smith’s presentation, and thoughts of changing the name to the ‘Richard Karlo act’ here:

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  1. Susan says:

    Todd works hard at his job as he should. It bothers me when he consistently criticizes energy costs without admitting his Conservatives were a root cause when they deregulated our Ontario Hydro utility. It is fine to slam the green energy act but take responsibility for your own mistakes as well. That would be refreshing from a politician.

  2. Wolf Braun says:

    ” Todd works hard for The County. In addition to his efforts around our PECMH, Raise A Glass To Ontario is more evidence of that commitment. ”

    Yes to hard work and commitment. Not to minimize but that is his job. Let’s hope that the evidence comes in soon to support Todd’s efforts.

  3. Bill Roberts says:

    Todd works hard for The County. In addition to his efforts around our PECMH, Raise A Glass To Ontario is more evidence of that commitment.

  4. Mark!!! says:

    The business of booze in this province is Draconian, especially when it comes to the foreign owned monopoly that is The Beer Store.

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