Thank you very much, Mr. Westcott.
In budget 2017, we also look at cigarettes. The excise tax is going from $21.03 to $21.56, which is the actual effective charge for cigarettes. When I get into some greater detail looking at the excise tax for distilled alcohol, it's going from $11.696 to $11.930, which is about a 20- or 21-cent increase in retail, at sale. According to The Toronto Sun, it's a 5-cent increase for a case of 24 beers. This doesn't sound like a lot to someone like me who might enjoy a bit of alcohol once in a while.
When I look at the escalator, this actually reduces the long-term political questions related to it. For instance, if you're a business, you'd like to have a long-term, stable environment in which where you can predict how much something is going to cost in the long term. When you look at an escalator, it actually removes the politics from it, so you don't have a government that comes in and says they're going to increase it by this amount or reduce it by this amount, according to how much lobbying you're able to do. It says that every year, the excise will be aligned with the consumer price index, because everything increases in price in this country. The tax officials, who have to go out collecting from and monitoring the distilleries, make sure that this is actually occurring. This all costs money.
I am interested in one other, final thing before I'll let you go. I was reading something from the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce, which was looking at the federal excise tax review for distilled spirits. Apparently, there's actually a difference in the raw material, origin, and size requirements in duty rates. For beer, if you get the raw material from anywhere, there's a size requirement. It's tiered at $0.06 per litre. It's going up a little bit from last year. When you look at wine, if your raw materials, meaning your grapes, are produced in Canada, and.... I'm not sure of the term in English. It would be distilled, I guess?