Vineyards get $990,000 boost after announcement at St. Catharines winery
Published November 10, 2022 at 2:35 pm
When St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle and Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey met up at Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery, it wasn’t to share some Chardonnay.
The pair stopped into the St. Catharines winery with a $990,866 cheque for Wine Growers Canada to boost domestic and export sales of Canadian-made wine through targeted awareness and training initiatives programs.
Appearing on behalf of Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the pair announced the investment, under the AgriMarketing Program, will support Wine Growers Canada to further develop markets in North America, Europe and Asia, and increase awareness of and trust in Canadian-made wine to protect, maintain and enhance market access for Canadian wine producers.
“Wineries are an important part of Canada’s rural communities,” said Bittle, also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
“This investment will help increase exports and awareness of Canadian wine, supporting local jobs and businesses, and contributing to the strength of the nation’s economy.”
Badawey, also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, noted that the Canadian wine industry has over 800 winery establishments nationwide, 60-plus in the Niagara Region alone.
Said Badawey, “The past few years have been challenging for members of the wine and grape industry. Our investment will continue to support wine makers and grape growers, opening doors to new markets and increasing recognition of Canadian wine around the world.”
Among the challenges faced by wineries have been climate change, labour shortages and supply chain issues.
Dan Paszkowski, President of the Wine Growers Canada, was thankful for the government boost.
“Grape wine is Canada’s highest value-added agricultural product contributing over $11.5 billion dollars annually to the Canadian economy,” he said.
“Canadian wines account for one percent of global production and face fierce competition here in Canada and abroad from major wine producing countries that heavily subsidize their industries. The federal AgriMarketing Program is very helpful in strengthening our fight for market share here in Canada and in developing new markets for Canada’s exceptional, and award-winning wines.”
To help licensed Canadian wineries as they adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges that impact financial resilience and competitiveness of the wine industry, the Government of Canada also launched the two-year, up to $166-million Wine Sector Support Program to provide wineries with short-term financial support.