Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak today.
Thank you very much to our witnesses as well for bringing forward some very eye-opening testimony.
Mr. Sparkes, you kind of mentioned something briefly, and I'm only going to ask our witnesses to touch on it a little bit more. My riding is in rural southwest Alberta. Unfortunately, we don't have any wineries, but we have a couple of meateries that have been started, and I do have six craft breweries that are under construction. I have two distilleries under construction.
These have brought amazing new economic opportunities to rural communities. You touched a bit on what the impact has been in Nova Scotia. These are economic opportunities in these rural communities that would just not have been there. They're jobs. They're filling up real estate, but they're also bringing tourism to these communities.
Luke, I'm going to ask you this first. Jan talked a little bit about it, but we're seeing this great growth in the beer industry across Canada. We tried this tax regime in the 1980s and it was a disaster for the spirits industry. Jan and I have talked about that before. Can you maybe elaborate a little bit on what the impact was on the craft beer or beer industry and what you see as the possible ramifications of this escalator tax on the beer industry in Canada, especially for the craft brewers?