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Wine Growers Canada (WGC), a national association representing the Canadian wine industry, joined with Canadian wineries from coast to coast in welcoming the announcement of a three-year extension of the federal Wine Sector Support Program (WSSP). This initiative signifies the Government of Canada’s commitment to providing stability for wine growers, fostering incentives for investment, innovation and overall growth within Canada’s expansive wine sector.

Group photo
From left to right: Francesco Sorbara, MP, Vaughan-Woodbridge; Chris Bittle, MP, St. Catharines and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities; Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food; Vance Badawey, MP, Niagara Centre and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transport; Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of WGC; Matthias Oppenlaender, treasurer, Canadian Grapevine Certification Network; Darien Temprile, executive director, Canadian Grapevine Certification Network; and Tim Coons, general manager, Trius Winery and Restaurant

Introduced as a two-year pilot program in 2022, the WSSP aimed to assist the Canadian wine industry in adapting to persistent challenges, including adverse climate events, surging inflation and sustained competition from major wine-producing countries that dominate wine sales in Canada. The sector continued to grapple with many challenges.

Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of WGC, emphasized the significance of the announcement.

“Canada’s 600 wineries and nearly 2,000 grape growers contribute significantly to job creation, drive rural economic development and attract over four million wine country tourists annually,” he said. “[The program’s] renewed investment serves as a foundation for Canadian wineries, investors and associated businesses, guiding crucial decisions, particularly in the face of challenges like vine replanting. We applaud Minister MacAulay’s leadership and the Canadian Government’s continued partnership in advancing this important value-added industry deeply rooted in local agriculture.”

Minister making press announcement
From left to right: Francesco Sorbara, MP, Vaughan-Woodbridge; Chris Bittle, MP, St. Catharines and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities; Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; and Vance Badawey, MP, Niagara Centre and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transport

The extended WSSP will help provide certainty for grape-growing communities in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. Its implementation is anticipated to provide a stable environment for wineries, fostering job creation and economic growth across Canada.

Exterior of Phantom Creek Estates Winery at night
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