The local wine industry loved what it heard during Monday’s federal budget announcement, calling it a “monumental investment.”
That’s because the government has proposed to spend $101 million over two years, starting in 2022, to help wineries adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges. Specifically, Wine Growers British Columbia supports the request from Wine Growers Canada that the government implement the Wine Grower Quality Enhancement Program.
“Today’s budget announcement is a monumental investment in the future success of British Columbia’s wine industry and the province’s highest value-added agri-food beverage,” WGBC president and CEO Miles Prodan said in a press release.
“The new program will support every winery across British Columbia and provide economic certainty, stimulate millions of dollars of investment and create thousands of winery, grape grower and tourism jobs across the province.”
The quality enhancement program, according to WGBC, will provide foundational sustainability to invest in the future and compete on a fair equitable basis with other wine regions globally. Prodan praised Interior MPs Dan Albas, Tracy Gray, Richard Cannings and Patrick Weiler for their work, along with Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and International Trade Minister Mary Ng.
“The winery support program in budget 2021 will allow wineries in BC to come out of this pandemic recovery strong,” Quails’ Gate Estate Winery CEO Tony Stewart said. “The program provides certainty for future investments in many wine businesses and the rural communities we help to support.”