Evidence of meeting #50 for Finance in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was wine.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

March 27th, 2012 / 4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Thank you very much.

I too am from Nova Scotia, originally from the Annapolis Valley. I have to tell you that I've been very impressed by how the industry has progressed over the past 20 or 25 years. It's just phenomenal. There's no doubt.

Companies like yours, Mr. Stutz, are involved in a lot of province-wide initiatives to promote your product and other Nova Scotia products, and good for you.

I certainly don't profess to have the kind of wealth of experience and knowledge that Mr. Brison has. I am a moderate, of course.

I wanted to ask a couple of questions. You talked about the problems associated with sending one case to New Brunswick. Could you quickly tell me what that problem is?

4:55 p.m.

As an Individual

Hanspeter Stutz

It's not allowed. It's just not allowed. With the regulations now, you're not allowed to send one case of wine to a private consumer in New Brunswick.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

We've heard from Mr. Dunning that you can do it by going through one of the liquor commissions.

4:55 p.m.

As an Individual

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

But the way it stands, you can't do it directly yourself.

4:55 p.m.

As an Individual

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

I think I heard someone say that if you were selling from, let's say, Nova Scotia, to somebody in Ontario, you would have to charge the Ontario tax—or would it be the Nova Scotia tax?

Mr. Paszkowski, would you comment?

4:55 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Vintners Association

Dan Paszkowski

If this bill went through and you were a Nova Scotia resident and you ordered a case of wine from an Ontario winery, the Ontario winery would quote you the price with the Nova Scotia taxes in place. Whatever the provincial sales tax was and whatever environmental and bottle levies were attached to that bottle of wine would be charged. As a result, the Province of Nova Scotia would gain some revenue and address the issues that its liquor board currently has in place in terms of the environment or bottle return levies, etc.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

I understand; it depends on the province where the person who orders it lives.

4:55 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Vintners Association

Dan Paszkowski

That's right.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

This goes to what Mr. Jean was talking about in terms of the advantage for Alberta. People from Nova Scotia will want to buy from Alberta because there are no taxes, or the taxes are lower. That would avoid that issue.

4:55 p.m.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Vintners Association

Dan Paszkowski

Yes. If you're a tourist visiting Ontario, you pay your taxes where you purchase the wine. If you're ordering online, once you go back home you'll pay the taxes to the Province of Nova Scotia, because that's where you reside.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

In terms of Nova Scotia, Ms. Ruddock, do you see any problems? I guess there are two parts to this question. First, has there been any estimation of economic benefit or any analysis done of what this would mean for the industry? Second, are people aware of the potential bureaucracy they would be involved in by doing it this way?

4:55 p.m.

Managing Director, Winery Association of Nova Scotia

Janice Ruddock

First of all, you can't really judge what it is today, because you can't do it, but it would be anywhere from 2% to 5% of their sales that they would ship out of the province. You can't do it today, so it's an estimation.

On the bureaucracy, the way we have looked at it as an industry is that with 945,000 people and the opportunity to ship out to 33 million, yes, we'll go through a little record-keeping and bureaucracy to have that opportunity, for sure. We see it as a huge opportunity to go out and to sell our wines to a big population.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Good. I don't think there's any question that anything we can do that would be a benefit to the industry in Nova Scotia, the small and medium-sized producers, would be a good thing.

In terms of taxes, I just want to make this statement, because I've been guilty of this before. You go down to the States and you buy a bottle of wine that you can buy here, but it's half the price. I heard a good line the other day. Somebody who had been in the States came here and went to a liquor store, bought a bottle of wine, and said, “My God, how come it's so much more expensive?” The clerk answered, “This one comes with free health care.” I thought that was a good line.

You're not laughing.