Today’s letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce only goes to underscore who benefits from the existing sweetheart deal that controls how beer is sold in Ontario.
The foreign-owned multinational brewers are hiding behind their American lobby group to try to maintain this unfair retail system. However, nowhere else in North America does such a punitive alcohol retail system exist, which is in part why many Ontario Craft Brewers are now trying to expand their sales across the U.S. I understand why the U.S. Chamber is standing up for U.S. interests, but the current system is unfair to Ontario small businesses, including 276 craft breweries, and the government is right to try to correct that.
By expanding access for consumers to Ontario-made craft beer through specialty craft stores and other retail outlets, allowing brewers to cross-sell each other’s products, and ensuring adequate shelf space, the government will help create thousands of new jobs in Ontario and support small businesses across the province.